Toothaches can be irritating and uncomfortable, and they often have a knack for occurring when it’s least convenient! But there are also varying degrees of tooth pain that manifest all sorts of symptoms, which sometimes makes it difficult to tell if there’s a serious underlying issue that warrants a trip to your emergency dentist. Here are seven different symptoms associated with oral pain that you should never ignore, as they may indicate something’s wrong!
1. Severe, Throbbing Pain
Pain is typically the first sign that there’s something wrong inside of your mouth. Often, throbbing pain is associated with tooth decay that’s formed a cavity, but it can also be the result of other issues like advanced gum disease, compromised enamel, or abscessed teeth. Regardless of the origin of the pain, your dentist can address it.
This symptom often accompanies pain; however, increased sensitivity can also be caused by other things. One common cause is bruxism, which is the unconscious grinding or clenching of teeth, usually during nighttime while the patient is asleep. Cavities and decay can also lead to increased sensitivity, as they’re extra sensitive to hot and cold temperatures as well as high amounts of sugar. If you’re experiencing sensitivity that lasts for longer than 30 seconds at a time, you should contact your dentist.
3. Chronic Bleeding Gums
It’s not unheard of for a person’s gums to bleed and swell up every once in a while, but if it’s happening often and is usually accompanied by oral pain, there’s likely some sort of underlying issue. It might be indicative of early gum disease, which if allowed to progress, can lead to all kinds of problems including total tooth loss.
4. Swollen Glands
If it seems like your jawline and/or neck are swollen, it could indicate that a problem that originated in your mouth has made its way to toward other parts of your body. In some cases, an unchecked oral infection can exit the mouth, enter the bloodstream, and wreak havoc across your body.
5. Odd Discoloration
It’s natural for your teeth to darken over time, especially if you regularly consume dark-colored foods and beverages. However, if your teeth are turning from white to yellow and then to an odd shade of grey or dark brown, you should seek treatment as there might be an underlying oral infection or another type of issue causing the change in color.
6. Bad Breath
An infected or abscessed tooth can emit foul-smelling toxins inside of your mouth, which usually causes some seriously rancid breath! To eliminate the issue, the tooth will need to be treated, often using root canal therapy combined with antibiotics.
7. Loose Teeth
If your teeth are loose in addition to hurting, it could be a sign of something like periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease. This is not an issue that will clear up on its own, and your teeth might be at risk of being lost forever! Fortunately, gum disease can be managed with a variety of different treatments.
Even though not every instance of tooth pain is considered an emergency, none of these symptoms should be ignored or needlessly endured!
About the Author
Dr. Sharon Schrott received her education at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and is a proud member of several notable professional dental organizations such as the American Dental Association and the Massachusetts Dental Society. Her practice in Boston is thrilled to offer a wide range of preventive, cosmetic, and restorative treatments in addition to emergency dentistry. If you or a loved one is suffering from persistent tooth pain, don’t hesitate to contact the practice today for assistance: (617) 227-4924.