I Have a Bad Toothache: Should I See a Dentist About It? By Dr. Scott Parr on January 19, 2024

Man in living room with a serious toothache

Sometimes a toothache isn’t just a toothache. It may be the sign of a way more serious health problem. That’s why it’s always a good idea to visit our dentist’s office in Virginia Beach, VA, as soon as you notice any pain or discomfort in your teeth.

The team at The Smile Center would like to go over some health issues that may be associated with a tooth that hurts just so you know why we take these matters seriously. We can help you understand when you need to see a dentist about dental pain.

What a Toothache Might Indicate

A sore tooth is usually a warning sign that you’re experiencing some kind of oral health or general wellness issue. Below are some of the most common things that tooth pain indicates.

Severe Tooth Decay

A bad cavity exposes more of your internal tooth structure, which can lead to pain while biting and chewing. Hot or cold temperature foods and beverages can also cause pain. This is a situation in which a custom dental crown or other restoration can help alleviate pain.

Damage to Tooth Structure

If you had a fall, experienced an injury to the face or head, or bit down on something that was too hard, this may have caused a chip or crack to your tooth. Like a bad cavity, the trauma to the tooth exposes the underlying structure, which can cause dental pain.

Enamel Erosion

Acidic substances or a bad oral pH can wear down your tooth enamel over time. This can cause sensitivity and eventually lead to sore or uncomfortable teeth. Placing a restoration is the best option for dealing with this issue.

Periodontal Disease or Gum Recession

Gum disease can cause pain or sensitivity to radiate to your teeth. If your gumline has receded, this exposes more of the crown of a tooth, which often contributes to tooth sensitivity and increases the risk of tooth decay.

Root Canal Infection

There is soft tissue inside of all teeth. This is known as dental pulp. When bacteria reach the pulp chamber, it can lead to a painful infection. Undergoing root canal therapy (endodontic care) helps remove the diseased pulp and prevent the spread of infection.

Dental Abscess

An abscess is an accumulation of pus associated with an infection. A dental abscess may form on the gums as a response to a root canal infection. These growths need professional treatment to remove the pus and prevent the sudden release of bacteria into your system.

Oral Cancer

Lesions and bumps are a common early sign of oral cancer. If you notice any abnormal growths on your gums, cheeks, palate, or tongue, be sure to speak with a dentist as soon as possible.

There Are Consequences to Avoiding Dental Work

It’s always best to get a problem diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Failing to get a sore tooth treated could exacerbate health issues and require the tooth to be extracted.

In the case of root canal infections and dental abscesses, there is a danger of infection spreading throughout the body, leading to major illnesses that could be life-threatening.

How Our Team Can Help

When possible, the team at our Virginia Beach dental practice strives to provide minimally invasive solutions that preserve as much of your natural tooth structure as possible. Early detection and treatment help us make this possible.

We encourage you to get in touch with our team to discuss your symptoms with us. We can then review your treatment options and determine what steps need to be taken next.

Request a Consultation at Our Office

To set up an appointment at our practice, contact our dental office in Virginia Beach. We are ready to help you smile with renewed confidence.

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The Smile Center

The Smile Center

The Smile Center in Virginia Beach has been providing high-quality dental care since 1988. We are proud to be affiliated with:

  • American Academy of Facial Esthetics
  • The American Orthodontic Society
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

For more information about our services, contact us online or call (757) 473-8482 today.

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