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Why You Shouldn't Ignore Your Recurrent Toothache

A recurrent toothache is usually a sign of a potentially serious oral health issue like a cavity or gum disease. Since oral health problems worsen over time, it’s important to visit the dentist for recurrent toothaches.

With an office in The Woodlands, Texas, Scott Young, DDS, provides dental services for the greater Houston region, including the communities of Highland Village, West University, River Oaks, Rice Village, and Memorial.

Why You Shouldn't Ignore Your Recurrent Toothache

Several things can cause a toothache. If you have bruxism (teeth grinding), you may wake up with tooth and jaw pain or a headache. Grinding can lead to wear-and-tear on your teeth over time and cause TMJ pain.

Bruxism (teeth grinding)

If you notice pain and stiffness in your jaw or your teeth hurt when you wake up in the morning, schedule an appointment for a dental exam. A night guard can protect your teeth from grinding damage while you sleep.

Tooth decay

One of the most common causes of toothaches is tooth decay. While you may not notice any symptoms of a cavity in the beginning, untreated cavities worsen over time. In addition to being painful, untreated tooth decay can become infected. 

When a cavity becomes too large to fix with a standard dental filling, you may need a crown to repair the damage.

Tooth sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is painful. It’s also a sign of gum disease. Like tooth decay, gum disease is progressive. When treated early, gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease) is reversible. 

Gum disease

As it progresses, gum disease causes permanent damage to the underlying soft tissue and bone that supports your teeth. Late-stage gum disease (periodontitis) can lead to tooth loss. 

If you have fillings or other restorations like veneers or bonding, damage can irritate your gums or cause bacteria to build up between the restoration and the tooth.

Whether your recurring toothache is caused by teeth grinding, tooth decay, gum disease, or some other form of dental damage, ignoring your symptoms can lead to permanent damage and more invasive and expensive treatment in the future.

When to see a dentist for a toothache

It can be difficult to tell what’s causing your toothache, so schedule an appointment if it lasts more than a few days or is recurrent. 

Toothaches and pain are considered a dental emergency, so don’t wait.

The best way to protect yourself from oral health problems like cavities and gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene, avoid smoking, eat a healthy diet, and get preventive dental care. Dr. Young and our team recommend scheduling a dental exam and cleaning every six months.

For more information about the causes and treatment options for tooth pain, contact Scott Young, DDS, today to schedule an appointment at our office in The Woodlands, Texas.

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