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When Should You Be Worried About a Toothache?

Posted on 1/25/2021 by Thomas Mahar
When Should You Be Worried About a Toothache?You should always come see us if you have a toothache. Your discomfort could indicate a serious problem that requires immediate treatment or it could be something far less worrisome, but we need to perform a thorough exam in order to rule out the former. If your toothache is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, that could be a sign of a serious problem.


If you have a toothache along with a high fever, this can indicate an infection that is spreading from your tooth or gum to other parts of your body. A fever is your body's attempt to warm itself up and fight the infection. Untreated cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, or other infections can cause painful abcesses to form on your tooth or gum. If the abcess is not drained and the infection is not treated through a root canal, antibiotic, or other solution, the infection will continue to spread, which can be fatal.

Difficulty Breathing and Swallowing

Swelling of the face, throat, and lymph nodes can make it incredibly difficult or impossible to open your mouth fully, swallow, or breathe. Difficulty breathing and swallowing along with your toothache is another sign that you have a spreading infection.

Bleeding Gums

A toothache can also be the result of a gum issue rather than an infected tooth. If your gums feel sore, irritated, and they bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, this can indicate gum disease. Gum disease needs to be treated as soon as possible so it does not progress and cause serious complications. Early gum disease (gingivitis) can often be reversed by following proper oral hygiene, but advanced periodontal disease often requires more extensive treatment in the form of a root canal or even gum surgery.

Bleeding gums along with a toothache may also indicate a broken tooth that has damaged the gums, or even a sharp food particle that has gotten stuck between the teeth and gums and irritated gum tissue. Call our office right away if you experience any tooth pain, with or without additional symptoms.

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