What Happens When You Ignore Tooth Pain

What Happens When You Ignore Tooth Pain

Waiting for tooth pain to subside without consulting a dentist can be risky. Bodily pain is a natural mechanism through which your mind alerts you about possible emergencies. Dental pain may make it difficult for you to get through the day and that’s why it’s important to see a doctor immediately.

Dental pains are a blessing in disguise because they’re important for survival. These types of pain can indicate early onset of a dental emergency and help locate the affected area. It’s important for you to give dental emergencies your undivided attention because otherwise they can disrupt your life.

In 2016, 84.6% young adults under 17 years of age needed immediate dental help. 64.4% of senior citizens had consulted a dentist in case of emergencies during the same year. From 1997 to 2007, there was a 4% annual increase in visits to the emergency department. In the year 2007, 1.4% of visits to the emergency ward were for dental concerns.

These statistics show how frequent dental emergencies are and why it’s important to pay heed to them.

Dental Emergencies Reveal Major Problems

What goes wrong inside your mouth reveals a lot about not just your dental health but even your overall wellbeing. Most commonly, people seek a dentist for issues like untreated cavities causing pains or swollen gums because of dental abscess. Toothaches can also be a consequence of high-impact falls and injuries that result in chipped or broken teeth.

However, your mouth is the gateway to the body and so many oral problems can be caused by bodily dysfunctions. It can be linked to diabetes, acidity, heart diseases and even pregnancy complications.

Consequences Of Delaying Treatment

Dental pain has been ranked among the worst physical pain like labor pain and passing kidney stones. With such intense pain, it’s alarming that people still feel the need to avoid getting a dental appointment.

Tooth pain due to untreated cavities can be experienced in two stages. In the initial stage, the cavity may make teeth sensitive to hot, cold and even sweets. At this point, the problem is fairly surface-level. If you delay getting checked, the cavity may reach the nerve at the root of the affected tooth and worsen the condition. The sensitivity may aggravate to an extent where even opening your mouth to talk can be painful.

A delayed response to the problem leads to termed pulpal necrosis i.e. death of the nerve at the root. This may seem like a recovery because the pain subsides momentarily, only to return with greater intensity. The recurring pain is because of a dental abscess that the cavity has developed into.


A widespread infection like that in the necrotic pulp tissue can cause swelling of the face and neck. It can only be treated with a tooth extraction—in worst cases—or a root canal. This infection can even become life-threatening if it enters the blood stream and impacts the organs. It can also cause immense swelling across the neck that will constrict breathing.

The process of a cavity developing into a fatal disease shows the severity of dental problems like toothaches. Prevention is better than treatment and for that it’s crucial to be attentive towards symptoms and get help immediately.

Bethesda Dental Health offers excellent dentistry services in its clinic in Maryland. We’re trusted family dentists in Bethesda and offer all kinds of emergency dental treatments.


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