Having a bad toothache can be a debilitating experience, as the pain can make it hard for you to function in any capacity, and there’s only so far you can go with painkillers to help you to feel better. Here is some information that you should know about toothache to help you to resolve the cause of your toothache, feel better, and make the right decision regarding the care of your teeth.

1. Toothache can happen to anyone

There is no shame in having a toothache, as if you did something wrong or deserve to be scolded. Nothing could be further from the truth. Toothache can happen to anyone, and it’s not something that you should be ashamed of. In fact, the Mayo Clinic reports that there are more than 200,000 cases of dental abscess in the US every year. However, toothache does tend to happen more often to people who have gone a long time between dental checkups, because with regular checkups, the dentist would have caught and corrected any sources of potential toothache long before you felt any pain. Again, there’s no shame in that. You might not have been able to afford to go to the dentist, or you might have had too many fears of getting dental treatment. However, now that you’re in pain, you need dental care quickly, and we’re here to provide that.

2. Tooth pain is usually caused by an abscess

Most of the time, the reason for severe tooth pain is an abscess in the root area of your tooth. An abscess is an infection that’s filled with pus and caused by bacteria. Bacteria are always present in your mouth, but when your teeth are healthy, bacteria can’t access the pulp of your teeth. However, if your teeth are decayed, cracked, or broken, bacteria can enter the pulp of your teeth and begin to multiply. This creates a swelling, which puts pressure on your jaw area and creates pain. When an abscess gets bad enough, you may even be able to see or feel a round bulge inside your mouth near the root of the tooth. If this bulge gets so big that it pops, all that foul-smelling, foul-tasting fluid will rush into your mouth. Gross!

3. An abscess won’t go away on its own

If you have an abscess, you shouldn’t say to yourself, “Oh, I’ll just grin and bear it. Hopefully, this pain will go away and I’ll go back to normal.” Even if the pain goes away, the abscess (and its accompanying bacterial infection) is still there, and it can remain there for months or even years. People have gone for long stretches of time wondering why they’re always sick and tired, and the root cause of it was a festering bacterial infection in a tooth that started spreading to other organs and systems.

Leaving a tooth abscess untreated is a bad idea for many reasons, as the infection may spread to your jaw, other areas of your head and neck, and your bones. The infection can also start circulating through your whole body, requiring your immune system to be constantly fighting off these bacteria. If you have a weakened immune system, this can even result in sepsis, a life-threatening infection.

Stay tuned for our next blog post, when we’ll cover more information you should know about toothache and what to do about it. In the meantime, schedule your regular teeth cleaning and dental checkup with Dr. Colkmire. Our dental clinic in Sarasota is here to serve you.