Here's Why Periodic Tooth Or Gum Pain Is Still Something To Worry About

If you have occasional pain in your teeth or gums, your first thought might be not to be too concerned about it. After all, if the pain comes and goes, it probably isn't a big deal, right? Unfortunately, this kind of thinking can lead you to having a much bigger dental problem than you'd like and could result in more work needing to be done when you go to the dentist's office. Here are the biggest problems that can result from ignoring your tooth and gum pain.

Tooth Pain

When people develop very bad cavities, they tend to experience tooth pain as a result. When cavities become severe, the pain doesn't go away — it just keeps coming. However, that doesn't mean that periodic pain is a sign that you don't have a cavity.

Occasional pain from a cavity might be because it's still growing bigger. When a cavity forms, bacteria chews away at your tooth, creating a hole. As this hole grows bigger, it can start to impinge upon the nerves in your teeth. This is what you're sensing as pain. However, if a cavity doesn't form quickly, pain can occur when the hole gradually gets bigger, only to back off afterwards. You won't experience continuous pain until the cavity is very large, which may require a root canal in order to fix.

Gum Pain

Like tooth pain, periodic gum pain doesn't necessarily mean that you're in the clear. Gum disease can often be painless in the early stages and only starts to present a painful problem as it moves on to become a more severe stage, like periodontitis. In the meantime, however, there are specific triggers for why you might be having occasional pain.

While gum disease requires treatment from a dentist in order to be cured, your body will still do its best to fight it off. What this means is that you may experience more inflammation on days when your immune system is trying to kill the bacteria that's invading it and causing the gum disease. When the immune system is successful, pain temporarily recedes because inflammation diminishes and there's less bacteria around. However, without medical treatment, the bacteria will repopulate eventually and the whole process will start over again.

What to Do

It may be tempting to put off seeing a dentist if you don't think that you have a big problem. However, any kind of pain that you feel in your teeth or gums is an early warning sign. Getting to the dentist as soon as the pain strikes can help you to resolve the problem before it becomes extreme. Think about it this way: would you rather have a simple dental cleaning or an in-depth scaling and a root canal? It's easier, faster, and less expensive to get work done early, so get yourself to a dental clinic and help your teeth and gums before the situation worsens.