Little toothaches turn into big problems! It is not uncommon for patients to ignore the start of dental discomfort in hopes that it will resolve on its own. Unfortunately, a slight sensitivity will eventually turn into an unrelenting pain that isn’t always easily relieved without professional dental treatment. If an infection is the source of a toothache, it may spread to nearby organs, even the brain, turning an easily treatable tooth issue into a major health concern. Although everyone knows when they have a toothache, there are some symptoms that patients might not realize are caused by a tooth.
CAN A TOOTHACHE CAUSE A SORE THROAT?
Many patients have secondary symptoms, like a sore throat, and don’t realize the cause of the pain is actually their teeth. A wisdom tooth infection may feel like a sore throat and may even be accompanied by swollen lymph node glands as if you had a common cold. It is important to look out for addition wisdom teeth infection symptoms such as pain in the tooth, swelling of the face and/or jaw, a bad taste or smell in your mouth, or difficulty chewing and contact your dentist immediately for treatment.
CAN A TOOTHACHE CAUSE EAR PAIN?
Just like with how a wisdom tooth infection can cause a sore throat, an abscessed molar can be felt in the corresponding ear leaving patients to think they have an ear infection.
It’s always advisable to look for additional symptoms to determine whether you have a tooth infection. Refer to our list of symptoms below.
- pain around a tooth or anywhere in the jaw
- pain while chewing
- tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, sugar or toothbrush
- bleeding or swelling around a tooth, gums or anywhere in the mouth
- pus or a pimple around a tooth or gums
- pain in or around the ear
- difficulty or painful swallowing
- pain or swelling felt outside the mouth such as the throat, eyes, lips or cheeks
Although many people try to put off going to the dentist as long as they can with a toothache, it’s important to get your symptoms checked out as soon as possible. Sometimes tooth, jaw or cheekbone pain may be the result of a different health issue, such as gum disease, TMJ, a sinus infection, ear infection, or even something more serious, such as a heart attack.
- tooth abscess (infection)
- gum disease
- tumors (benign or malignant)
- cracked tooth
- wisdom teeth
- sinus, ear or throat infection
TOOTHACHE RELIEF DO’S AND DON’TS
- Do try over-the-counter pain medication such as Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen (check with your doctor first)
- Do apply oral numbing gels around affected tooth
- Do apply ice packs for swelling
- Do apply moist heat for soreness
- Don’t place aspirin on your tooth, gums or cheek (it may burn the tissue)
- Don’t take any medication such as antibiotics or narcotics that were not prescribed for you or for your toothache
- Don’t ignore your symptoms
EMERGENCY TOOTHACHE TREATMENT
- broken or chipped tooth
- lost tooth
- lost crown
- broken dentures
- painful gums
Whether it’s because of dental anxiety or worry over the cost of dental treatment, patients who choose to ignore a toothache or choose not to have necessary dental treatment will eventually be faced with more complex and costly procedures. At worst, a toothache ignored for a long period of time may result in tooth extraction as the option. Not only can toothaches lead to tooth loss, they may adversely affect a patient’s overall health.
Once the cause of your toothache has been diagnosed, we will outline the best treatment option for you such as a filling, root canal, deep cleaning, crowns or caps, dental bridge, dental extraction or dental implant. Call us today at 203-377-9300 to tell us about your symptoms or make an appointment for a dental exam!