It’s a fair bet to say that a patient would rather visit a dentist for preventive care than for a dental emergency. So what should you do if you experience a toothache that is intermittent or seems to resolve before a scheduled dental appointment? It’s natural to think you’re in the clear and that the problem has somehow taken care of itself. But a lack of symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean good oral health! In fact, you would be surprised at the serious risks involved with not getting treatment. Keep reading to learn why toothaches can come and go and why it’s always in your best interest to see an emergency dentist right away.
Why Would a Toothache Go Away?
Toothaches range from mild to severe and can be caused by a multitude of factors. Relatively mild pain is more likely to come and go and could be caused by a small cavity that’s only starting to become symptomatic. Other common culprits are gum recession, in which the gums “pull back” and expose the sensitive root surfaces of the teeth, and temporary sensitivity from nighttime clenching and grinding.
A moderate or severe toothache usually indicates a nerve that is inflamed or infected. In the majority of these cases, the pain will get progressively worse until you get treatment. But there are situations where the nerve dies as a result of the infection. This explains why the pain goes away, but it’s important to realize that the infection is still present and can become very dangerous if it’s left untreated.
The Importance of Calling a Dentist, Even If Your Toothache Goes Away
When a painful toothache goes away but an infection remains, the bone that surrounds and supports the root will continue to be destroyed. This can lead to the need for an extraction, along with a replacement option such as a dental implant, bridge, or partial denture.
On top of increasing the risk for more serious dental problems, an untreated infection can also spread to other areas of the body and adversely affect your overall health. In rare cases, a long-standing infection can progress and become so severe that it can even be fatal. That’s why it’s essential to see an emergency dentist to have your toothache evaluated even if your symptoms have subsided.
After your dentist determines the source of your pain, he or she will recommend the best treatment and will answer your questions. Regardless of whether the issue is large or small, you’ll have the information you need to maintain your smile and overall health.
About the Author
Dr. Darren Koch has been a general and emergency dentist for nearly 20 years. He doesn’t take chances with his patients’ health and always recommends coming in to have a toothache evaluated, even if the pain has gone away. If you have any type of dental pain that’s come and gone or have any questions, you can contact Dr. Koch via his website.