After a bottom right molar broke a few years, I did not go to the dentist. Eventually, the tooth broke off to my gums, so only the bottom half is left. Within the past few months, the tooth started to hurt, and now I get intense pain in the tooth that radiates into my jaw and chin. The pain comes and goes, but when I feel it, it is challenging to keep working. I am on the phone with clients about 40% of my day. If I have pain during a call, it’s difficult to speak that my head starts hurting. Will the tooth fall out? Or should I call a dentist? My anxiety level is climbing. Will I need an extraction? Thank you. Sean from LA
You have an infection, and if you feel it in your jaw and tooth, it is probably spreading. Although it is rare, an untreated tooth infection can even spread to your brain. So yes, you must see a dentist right away.
Pain in tooth, jaw, and chin
When a toothache spreads into your jaw and chin, you have a tooth infection that could be spreading to other teeth.
- A filling is not enough – As the infection spreads, what could have been filled as a cavity now needs a dental crown.
- An untreated treated tooth gets worse – A dentist must perform root canal treatment to remove the infection. Afterward, the dentist will protect the tooth with a crown.
- TMJ symptoms will occur – A worn or damaged tooth to the gumline will affect the way you chew and bite. TMJ symptoms can result. And you might feel jaw pain, neck pain, earaches, or headaches.
- Advanced infection needs aggressive care – A progressive infection in a tooth that is broken at the gumline may require extraction. But plan on replacing the tooth with a dental implant or an alternative like a dental bridge. If you do not fill the space, other teeth will begin to drift.
We understand that you and many other patients are nervous about dental appointments. But look for a skilled dentist. Their training helps provide gentle care. And you can ask about your options for sedation to help you relax during treatment.
Cosmetic dentist Mohamed Imam, DDS of San Antonio, sponsors this post.