Worries about dental bills and tight schedules can keep you from going to the dentist when you first notice tooth pain. Unfortunately, if you neglect that tooth pain when it first occurs, it could turn into a more significant problem. Maybe you’ve taken a few ibuprofen or Tylenol and used some over-the-counter numbing gel, but this is no replacement for seeing your dentist. Here’s a closer look at some of the signs you’ve been putting off that tooth pain for far too long.
Swelling in the Cheek and Neck
You’ve been ignoring that pain too long if you’re now noticing that there’s swelling in your cheek or neck. Sometimes the swelling can become severe enough to interfere with swallowing or even your breathing, so you can’t afford to keep ignoring it. Swelling in the cheek and neck not only means you probably have an infection, but there’s a risk of it spreading to your jawbone as well, which could cause further problems.
Pain in Your Sinuses
Have you started having pain in your sinuses after putting off tooth pain in a tooth located in your upper jaw? If so, it’s possible for the swelling from an infection to move upward causing a severe infection of your sinus cavities. If left untreated, this has the potential to be fatal. Sinus pain along with tooth pain is a sign you need to stop waiting and get to an emergency dentist as quickly as possible.
A Pocket of Puss Around the Tooth
Have you noticed that there’s a pocket of puss developing around the painful tooth? This could be a sign of an abscess, and abscesses need to be treated right away. An abscess can cause severe throbbing pain as well as tender lymph nodes and swelling around the area. Since an abscess can be dangerous, it’s important to get treatment right away. Failing to have an abscess treated could result in the infection spreading to your brain.
You Have Bad Breath Too
If you have tooth pain along with bad breath, this could also be a sign of a tooth abscess. However, bad breath combined with tooth pain can also be a sign of gum disease. Gum disease, when it’s severe, can result in tooth loss. Whenever there’s a bad smell along with your tooth pain, it’s time to stop putting off that visit to your dentist.
The Tooth Has Darkened
Perhaps you’ve noticed that the tooth that was hurting a while back is now dark. This can be a sign that your tooth has actually died and the dark appearance is due to bruising that occurs from the dying blood cells inside your tooth. Even if its dead, you need to make sure that you get treatment. The empty space in your tooth’s pulp chamber is a great place for bacteria to breed, and if you don’t treat it, you have a higher risk of developing an abscess in the future. Extraction or root canal can be used to treat a dead tooth, and your dentist can advise you on the right solution for your dental needs.
Your Pain is Gone
Maybe you ignored your tooth pain long enough that it just went away, so you stopped worrying about it. This occurs when the nerve dies. You might think that your body took care of the problem, but once again, you’re at risk for a dental abscess. Even if the pain is gone, you should still talk to your dentist about any tooth pain that you’ve experienced in the past so it can be treated before you end up with a bigger problem.
Ignoring your tooth pain and putting it off is never a good idea. You’ll end up with a bigger problem and a bigger bill if you keep putting off your pain. Head to the dentist as soon as you have a toothache. You’ll save yourself a lot of pain, and your wallet will thank you too.