Making regular appointments with a dentist in River Oaks is important for enjoying good overall dental health. Sometimes, however, tooth discomfort is a sign of a more serious condition. That’s why you should stay alert for any of the warning signals outlined in this post. Doing so will not only prevent close calls, in some cases it may even save your life.
When a Toothache Isn’t Just a Toothache
See your dentist or other healthcare professional right away if your toothache is accompanied by any of these symptoms:
- Severe pain that you cannot ignore. Pronounced discomfort is your body’s built-in alarm system. You should never ignore what it’s telling you.
- Chills or fevers. These are signs of an infection that has spread beyond your teeth and gums.
- Pain in your ears or jaw. This can indicate an ear or brain infection.
- Pain or tightness in your chest. This is a common warning sign of heart disease.
- Trouble eating, speaking, or opening your mouth. This can because by cranial damage.
- Bleeding from your teeth or gums. This indicates either an advanced infection or physical damage to your teeth or jaw.
- A facial rash. This may signal a life-threatening condition called sepsis that requires hospitalization.
It’s also important to see a dentist as soon as possible if your toothache has lasted for more than a couple of days.
Common Dental Conditions You Should Know About
Knowing a little bit about common oral health issues can help you to be a better informed patient. Here are some examples to keep in mind:
- Cracked teeth. Common causes include mouth trauma, jaw misalignment, and poor self-care habits.
- Tooth abscess. This is most commonly caused by a cavity that the patient has tried to ignore. Your dentist may recommend extraction or a root canal.
- A cavity. These often show up well before tooth pain begins. Getting the tooth filled right away can save you from future discomfort.
- Sinus issues. Believe it or not, clogged or infected sinuses can cause harmful bacteria to accumulate in your mouth, leading to tooth pain. Your doctor may recommend treatment with antibiotics as well as dental care.
Short-Term Care Options
Seeing a dentist or other healthcare professional is the only way to resolve the issues mentioned in this post. However, there are a few things you can try to lessen the discomfort. Some suggestions include:
- Taking a general-purpose pain reliever. Make sure you follow the directions on the package.
- Applying a cold compress to your jaw. Old-fashioned ice bags work great. Only apply cold for a few minutes; otherwise you risk frostbite.
- Asking your pharmacist for recommendations. He or she may suggest analgesics or a numbing gel that will provide short-term relief.
Never discard a tooth that comes loose from your jaw. Wrap it in a moistened cloth and bring it with you to the dentist. In many cases, it can be re-implanted.
Good dental care is essential to living a healthy, active life. The tips in this post can help you to avoid serious health issues and keep you happy and smiling throughout the years to come.
About the Author
Dr. Shane Bowen is the latest member of our dental care team here at Montrose. He’s been practicing dentistry for 14 years. You can reach the office online or by calling (713) 522-7540.