Got a toothache? At first it might not seem like a major issue, however a toothache could get worse and have costly implications in the future if you delay treatment. Below are just a few reasons not to ignore that toothache, even if it is mild.
What causes a toothache
There are many causes of toothaches from a cracked tooth to broken fillings. In most cases, the source of the pain is an infection. Bacteria may have penetrated the pulp inside your teeth or you may have an abscess on your gums. Bacteria in our mouths can thrive as a result of bad habits such as eating too much sugar, drinking too much alcohol or smoking. Not brushing teeth regularly may also cause bacteria to build up. Really too much of the bad stuff or too little of the good is always a recipe for disaster. Everything in moderation is where you really want to be because all it takes is a crack in the tooth or a cut on the gum to turn this bacteria into an infection.
What happens if you ignore a toothache
A toothache may start as a dull ache. If you ignore it, the pain will get worse and the infection will spread – possibly even affecting other teeth. Okay maybe not right away. Just like with everything else you ignore. You might be able to overlook it and focus on other stuff for a bit but eventually you’ll have to focus all of your attention on it. Probably more than you would like and for longer than you would have had to if you’d acted on it early on.
When caught early, many oral infections can be cleared up with antibiotics. If left to get worse, you may have to look into dental procedures such as root canal treatment (which are typically unpleasant) in order to excavate the infected pulp in your tooth. If you let a tooth get too infected, it may have to be completely removed. Dental implants & periodontal surgery fortunately can help to rebuild your smile. However, ideally you want to keep onto your real teeth and stop an infection before it gets to this point.
Sometimes toothaches go away on their own. A mild toothache that fades may be caused by damaged gums healing themselves. However, if you get a severe toothache which then proceeds to go away on its own, this is likely not a good sign – the tooth may have got so infected that the nerve has been killed off, meaning that the infection is still there.
The cost of ignoring a toothache
Beside wounded pride, ignoring a toothache won’t just result in more unpleasant treatment and greater damage to your mouth – it could also increase the costs involved when getting treatment. A dose of antibiotics is likely to cost very little at all. However, the removal and replacement of teeth could be an expensive procedure, which could put you out of pocket.
If you’re already financially struggling, don’t keep putting off a visit to the dentist because of the cost – you could just be increasing the future costs for yourself. Many dentists will offer payment plans. You may even be able to lower costs by shopping around for treatment.
Overcoming your fear
Some of us may avoid going to the dentist because we’re afraid of getting treatment. Others may be afraid of the cost. However, if you seek treatment for toothache early you can avoid unpleasant treatment or expensive costs. If you suffer from dental anxiety, this guide might be worth reading. Meanwhile, there are many ways to finance dental treatment if you’re strapped for cash. Do some research and ask your provider. You might be surprised at the various options that are available to help overcome some of the obstacles to obtaining treatment.
What’s you biggest dental treatment fear? Do you have a dental treatment horror story? An amazing outcome when were initially anxious? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!