When to See a Dentist for a Toothache

Although there are various ways of dealing with a toothache at home, such as the use of over-the-counter drugs, there are times when it's best to see a dentist rather than continue with self-treatment. Below are some of the situations where you should consult a dentist for your dental pain.

The Pain Is Severe

Pain is the body's way of notifying you that something is wrong with your health. Generally, severe pain corresponds to a serious health issue while mild pain corresponds to minor health issues (though there are exceptions). Thus, if your toothache is severe, you are probably dealing with a serious dental problem. You are the only one who can judge the severity of your pain. In many cases, it's best to err on the side of caution and seek dental care.

The Pain Lasts Several Days

A minor toothache should not last more than one or two days. For example, if you get a piece of food caught between your teeth, you may feel pain for a couple of hours or so even after removing the stuck object. Therefore, you should be worried and seek dental care if you have a toothache that has lasted more than a couple of days. Such long-lasting toothache is probably triggered by a serious dental issue that requires treatment.

The Pain Is Accompanied by Other Symptoms

You should also seek dental care is the toothache is not the only health issue you are experiencing. Say you have a toothache, but you also have a fever, an earache or a headache. Or maybe your gums are inflamed, your teeth are bleeding, or your mouth is unusually dry. In such cases, you are probably dealing with underlying health issues that have affected multiple parts of your body. Such cases rarely resolve by themselves: seek dental care before the situation worsens.

The Pain Began After a Trauma

Lastly, you should also not hesitate to seek dental care if you experience tooth pain after physical trauma. Say you fell off a bike, banged your head in a car accident, or slipped and fell in the snow. You need a diagnosis to determine the extent of the injury; it might even be that one of your teeth's roots has been affected and you are in danger of losing a tooth.

Generally, it's best to see a dentist if you are in serious pain or if you don't know the cause of the pain. Like other health issues, your dental pain is best managed with early intervention.