If a Toothache Goes Away, Do You Still Need To See a Dentist?

December 11, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — disting_user @ 6:05 pm
Woman in dental chair touching her cheek

Understandably, no one wants to see a dentist unless they really have to. But while you would clearly schedule a visit if you’re in pain, what if you have a toothache that comes and goes? Or one that flares up for only a day or two and then goes away entirely? It may be tempting to chalk this up to good luck and consider the problem solved. But, in this blog, you’ll find out why a “disappearing toothache” could actually be a serious problem and why seeing an emergency dentist is still essential. Keep reading below to learn more! 

Why Would a Toothache Go Away? 

Some toothaches have ongoing symptoms that don’t go away until they’re treated. Other toothaches are more “random” and may only flare up for a short time. Here are some possible reasons for toothaches that seems to go away on their own: 

  • Mild toothaches – In some cases, tooth pain is caused by gum recession, where the gums pull back and expose the sensitive root of the tooth. This is usually fairly mild and may even improve over time on its own. Another potential cause for pain that comes and goes is a small cavity that’s only starting to be symptomatic. 
  • Moderate to severe toothaches – If you have moderate or severe pain, it’s usually a sign that the nerve of your tooth is badly inflamed or infected. This can occur from a cavity or some type of trauma to the tooth. If this type of toothache goes away, it’s typically because the nerve of the tooth has “died” or been destroyed by the infection, which is why the pain goes away. But the infection is still there and can lead to serious problems if it isn’t treated. 

The Importance of Seeing a Dentist, Even If a Toothache Goes Away 

If the nerve of a tooth has died, but an infection is still there, the infection will continue spreading and destroy the bone that surrounds the root. This may make an extraction necessary, along with additional treatment to replace the missing tooth such as a dental implant, bridge, or partial denture. Even worse, it can spread to other areas of the body such as the brain and become dangerous or even fatal. 

Simply put, any type of tooth pain is an indication that something is wrong. To determine if the problem is minor or serious, you must see an emergency dentist for an evaluation, diagnosis, and possible treatment. Although the pain may have subsided, you’re always better off safe than sorry, especially with the potential consequences of not getting treatment!

About the Author 

Dr. Sheri McIntosh is a general and emergency dentist with more than 15 years of experience and also a native of north Texas. She doesn’t believe in taking chances with her patients’ health and always encourages people to have a toothache checked out, even if their pain has gone away. If you have a toothache that’s come and gone or have any questions, you can contact Dr. McIntosh via her website.

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