My mouth hurts! I will do my best to describe my symptoms. It’s like this intense ache is radiating from one side of my face to the other and all my teeth are throbbing. I normally have excellent dental health and I didn’t experience any kind of trauma or anything. So I have no clue why all the sudden, I am in such pain. I don’t have dental insurance so I really want to avoid going in for an emergency dentist appointment if I’m over-reacting. But honestly, I’m kind of freaked out. I’m not sure I can focus on my work right now. Any advice about how I can treat this at home? Or do I need to go to the dentist?
– Eric in North Carolina
Anytime you are in extreme pain, the best course of action is to make an emergency dentist appointment. Radiating and throbbing are symptoms of decay that has reached the inside pulp of the tooth. So it is definitely better to be seen sooner than later for something like this. A dental crown or root canal treatment may save the tooth and it is more economical to take care of the situation now, than putting off treatment and having to have the tooth extracted and replaced.
Although, based on what you have described it doesn’t sound like there is one particular tooth that the pain can be attributed to. Sometimes increased stress can cause you to clench or grind your teeth while you are asleep. And when an individual has pain all over their face and has not pinpointed it to an individual tooth, the extreme force of grinding or clenching may cause symptoms like you have described.
You mention that your oral health is good so there is a possibility that you can treat your needs at home. If the pain is caused by inflammation of the TMJ, than ibuprofen will help ease your discomfort. Generally speaking, TMJ disorder, night grinding, or clenching will mean that when you wake up, you may have an intense headache or your jawbone will ache. But if you notice any intense shooting or extreme sensitivity to hot or cold, or if you simply cannot take the pain, you need to be seen to see what is happening. If a tooth is infected, it will not get better on it’s own. This situation would be considered a dental emergency. Or if the pain doesn’t improve with the ibuprofen, then it’s also time to go into the dentist.
If you suspect the culprit may be due to grinding or clenching, a TMJ dentist may be able to fit your for a night guard. This will help to prevent any serious damage to your teeth and provide relief to the jaw. Although you don’t want to spend the money on dental treatment if you don’t have to, if the pain doesn’t subside at home, don’t put off dental care. Regular check-ups and appointments actually help you save in the long run to avoid costly, invasive treatments. Good luck!
This post is sponsored by York PA dentist Donald H. Currie, DMD