Why You Should Never Ignore Tooth Pain

Everyone has had a minor toothache now and again. Maybe you bit something too hard or got a popcorn kernel or strawberry seed stuck between your teeth, causing some discomfort before you flossed it away.

In some cases, minor toothaches will go away on their own. However, you cannot ignore more serious pain, especially if it lingers or worsens. Like any type of pain, tooth pain is an indicator that something is wrong.

A failure to heed your body’s warning could result in serious consequences. Unchecked tooth pain could even lead to potentially fatal situations, depending on the cause.

In other words, you need to visit a reliable dentist in Birmingham AL if you want to determine the cause of your tooth pain and correct it before any permanent damage is done. Here are a few good reasons why you should never ignore tooth pain, hoping it will magically disappear.


This isn’t the worst that can happen to your teeth, but cavities are far from harmless, especially when left untreated. Not all cavities will cause tooth pain, but if they’ve advanced far enough that you’re feeling sensitivity or outright pain, they’re serious enough to see your Birmingham dentist for diagnosis and treatment.

The good news is that treating cavities early can help you to save a tooth that might otherwise be lost to decay. Delaying, on the other hand, will only allow a cavity time to grow and potentially spread to nearby teeth.

Chips and Cracks

Whether you lead a fairly active lifestyle and you’ve taken a hit or two to the mouth during sports, you suffer from bruxism (grinding and clenching teeth), or you like to chew on pen caps and munch on ice cubes, you could be doing damage to your teeth. Chips and cracks are not only unsightly; they can also provide a point of ingress for the bacteria that causes tooth decay and other potentially dangerous oral health issues.

Chips and cracks in and of themselves can cause you discomfort, but the problem will likely intensify should your pulp become infected. If you notice a chip or crack and you start to feel pain around the area, it’s definitely time for a trip to your dentist Birmingham AL.

Worn Enamel

Several things can cause tooth enamel to wear, such as consuming sugary or acidic foods and beverages, failing to properly care for your teeth (allowing bacteria to grow into plaque and tartar that attack the enamel), or brushing too hard, just for example. Thinning enamel can open the door to issues like cold/hot sensitivity and infection, leading to various levels of discomfort or pain.

There are a couple of things you can do to correct this problem, such as changing your diet or visiting your dentist in Birmingham AL for a fluoride treatment. However, you may not realize you’ve worn your enamel until a late stage when you begin to experience pain.


Gingivitis, gum disease, periodontal disease, and other oral health issues may or may not cause tooth pain, but there’s a pretty good chance you’ll eventually experience such symptoms if these diseases go untreated. Waiting too long could result in tooth loss and other health concerns, so it’s imperative that you seek professional dental care if you’re dealing with advanced tooth decay.

Dying Tooth

Whether you suffer severe trauma or general tooth decay, the end result could be a bacterial infection that gets into the pulp and eventually starts to kill the nerve. Because the tissue is inflamed and infection is spreading, it is very likely that a dying tooth will cause extreme pain.

In some cases there is little or no pain reported or the pain doesn’t last very long. However, if you are experiencing pain, and especially if you notice swelling around the area or discoloration of the tooth, it’s a good idea to see a dentist Birmingham AL to stop the infection and hopefully save the tooth.


Abscesses have the potential not only to affect your oral health, but also your overall health. An abscess occurs when pockets of bacteria become trapped, usually around the root of the tooth, under the gum line, or inside the tooth itself.

If untreated, abscesses may spread to surrounding teeth and even the jaw bone. What’s worse, the bacteria can enter your blood stream and begin to form abscesses in other parts of your body, including your heart, potentially leading to fatality in extreme cases.

Swelling and pain are good indicators of an abscess, so if you experience these symptoms, make haste to see your Birmingham dentist. Antibiotics and other treatments could help to save your tooth and perhaps even save your life.