A toothache can be a significant problem. But it can also cause a lot of confusion. First and foremost, when patients talk about toothaches they can be talking about many different experiences. There are many different types of oral pain that are sometimes classified as a toothache. But one of the common questions often asked about toothaches is whether or not they can resolve on their own, and whether or not that means you need to see a dentist. Generally speaking, if you are experiencing any kind of oral pain or discomfort we’d recommend seeing a dentist right away. If you need a dentist in the Lewiston Maine area, please give us a call. 

What Is A Toothache Exactly?

A toothache is an extremely broad term that is used to describe a symptom and not necessarily the underlying medical issue. A toothache is any amount of pain or discomfort that is localized to a single tooth or group of teeth. As a symptom, toothaches are often a sign of a bigger problem which is why it is recommended that you either see an emergency dentist right away or see your regular dentist in a few days or weeks after the pain arises. Here are a few examples of toothaches: 

  • Dull Pain: A persistent but dull pain is often the sign of an infection but it can also be a sign of pressure being placed on a tooth. For example if you grind your teeth at night or clench your jaw when you are stressed this can lead to dull pain in and around your teeth and jaw. To solve this it is recommended that you get a grind guard for when you sleep. 
  • Sharp Pain: Sharp and sudden stabbing pain is often a sign of decay. On teeth where you already have a crown or a filling, it could be a sign that there is an issue with that filling or crown. Teeth that have cracked or have a cavity also cause sharp pains. 
  • Throbbing Pain: Severe and throbbing pain is often attributed to infections including infected tooth pulp inside the tooth or roots. This might mean you need a root canal 
  • Temperature Sensitivity: Temperature sensitivity has many causes. If you notice the pain goes away quickly, this could be a sign that you have worn down enamel. If the pain sticks around this could be due to cracks, gum disease, or other issues. 

Can A Toothache Go Away On Its Own?

Yes, but you shouldn’t ignore any dental issue. If you have any severe or recurring pain, we recommend seeing a dentist right away. An exam and x-ray is sometimes all you need to know if there are any issues like an infected tooth root or a cavity that has formed. If you notice that your tooth pain is related specifically to temperatures like drinking a hot coffee or eating ice cream and the pain immediately goes away after you are done eating, this is often a sign of enamel demineralization. The enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth. As it starts to break down it can expose the dentin and pulp to decay and other issues. And while the pain subsiding might be a good thing, there is no better solution that a quick dental visit to make sure everything is ok. 

Family Dentist In Lewiston Maine

If you are living in the Lewiston Maine area and are interested in a quick dental check-up please give us a call. We would be happy to discuss dental services for you and any other members of your family. If you have any questions about financing or our services, please let us know.