Unfortunately, humans are by nature, procrastinators when it comes to addressing health concerns. Despite how uncomfortable, and even agonizing dental pain can be, many people take the approach of hiding symptoms with Tylenol and hoping that the problem/pain will go away. This approach is analogous to seeing your engine light go on, topping up the oil, crossing your fingers, and hoping for the best. Dental pain should not be ignored. It is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong in your mouth.
Dental pain can be indicative of many things such as dental decay, a fracture, pulp or nerve damage, grinding and clenching or an infection. Dental pain is generally categorized in four ways: pain on stimulation (pressure, hot/cold, sweet); intermittent or fluctuating pain; continuous and severe pain, and lastly, soft tissue pain. Treatment for dental pain will depend entirely on the root cause of the pain. You should see your dentist if the pain persists for more than two days, if the pain is severe, if the pain is accompanied by a fever, if it is painful to chew or function properly or if there is a foul taste in your mouth. Understanding the history of a particular pain is very useful in helping a dentist diagnose the source of the pain – so do your best to make a note of where the focal point of the pain is, what sets it off, and how long the pain lasts. Please do not ignore your dental pain or the problem can become more severe and the treatment may be more invasive as time goes on.
The best way to prevent dental pain is to maintain excellent oral health habits, such as brushing and flossing daily, minimizing sugar intake, and visiting your dentist and hygienists regularly.