When your tooth hurts, you might not automatically think about your risks for tooth loss. After all, the discomfort of the toothache might leave little room for thoughts other than finding immediate relief. But the truth is that many of the causes of the most common toothaches are minor versions of more severe issues, many of which can lead to tooth loss if not treated. Besides relieving the pain, seeing your dentist as soon as possible can help you prevent your toothache from becoming worse, possibly leading to tooth loss.
A toothache isn’t a condition so much as a symptom, and it can indicate a number of different issues with your tooth or oral tissues. For instance, cavities and tooth damage make teeth hurt by exposing their more sensitive structures. Gingivitis can cause sensitive teeth by exposing their unprotected roots. Whatever the cause, your first step to treating a toothache should be to diagnose why it hurts by visiting your dentist.
When a toothache is minor, it can be easier to ignore, or at least postpone trying to treat it. The trouble is, with most toothaches, the problem only grows worse the longer it’s allowed to remain. Whether it’s because of a cavity, damage to your tooth, or progressive gingivitis, your toothache will continue to grow more severe until treated.
If your toothache is already severe, then the condition is likely dire, and you should seek treatment from your dentist as soon as possible. Depending on your specific condition, hesitating could allow your tooth infection, tooth damage, or gingivitis to lead to tooth loss.