You shouldn’t wait until you have a toothache to visit the dentist, but it’s also true that not all toothaches require a dental visit. In some cases, toothaches can be minor and may resolve on their own.
Causes of Temporary Toothaches
Many toothaches are just a passing phenomenon, caused by the fact that your teeth are a little bit different than other tissues in the body. If you hit your head, you might notice a little while later that you have a bump there. This may be the result of a bruise or just be caused by swelling, which is one of your body’s immune responses to negative conditions.
The same thing can happen in your tooth when it gets bumped. The pulp inside the tooth may experience some swelling. But because the pulp is completely encased in the tooth, swelling mostly leads to increased pressure inside the pulp chamber. This increased pressure causes pain.
So what can cause swelling in the tooth? Many things:
- Dental treatment vibrations or pressure
- Uneven biting force
- Tooth trauma
- Teeth whitening
If you’ve just been to the dentist and are experiencing a toothache on that tooth or one nearby, it’s likely because of the dental visit. The same thing for a blow to the teeth. It’s best to have teeth whitening at the dentist, where we can use special solutions to limit discomfort. And it’s never a bad idea to increase water consumption, especially through the summer.
If you get toothaches regularly associated with brushing, eating, or chewing, it’s best to talk to a dentist about it, even if the toothache isn’t serious.
How Can I Tell When It’s Serious?
The level of pain you experience is not a reliable indicator of whether your toothache is serious or not. Usually, if you have an infected tooth in need of a root canal, you will have severe pain, but not always. It’s best to see a dentist soon about any toothache.
You should also look out for other signs of infected teeth, such as:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Pain elsewhere in the body that coincides with tooth pain
- Swollen gums
- Discolored tooth
- Bad breath
If you have these, it’s important that you see a dentist quickly to determine whether your tooth is infected.