Why would a tooth hurt? If you’re like most, you understand the obvious causes, such as decay and tooth breakage. But there are many, many causes for tooth pain … and to make matters worse, not only is is not always a problem with a tooth, it can be referred pain from a muscle, sinus or nasal cavity, even a cancer or osteonecrosis of the jaw.
Determining the root cause of the tooth pain is essential is receiving appropriate and timely care. Sometimes the cause is simple and easy to uncover; at other times, it’s a process of elimination that times time. Yet at other times, the cause may be unknown. Yes, dentistry is still and art as much as a science!
Avoiding tooth pain can be a mistake which can lead to serious consequences, and yes, even death, such as from brain abscess due to an infected tooth. Rare? Yes, but tooth infections can certainly cause you a trip to the ER or even a hospital stay.
Using over-the-counter dental products to stop tooth pain is a risky proposition – no different than continuing to take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for a fever that continues more than 48 hours.
What can you do when you’re having pain?
Naturally, the first thing to do is have regular dental checkups to catch problems quickly. Unfortunately, many people put these off until there is a problem, and then the problem is usually more extensive AND expensive to resolve, and worse, the options a person may have for resolution of the problems are fewer, too.
If you find yourself having tooth pain, please don’t ignore it. Your tooth (or teeth) are hurting for a reason; find out why!