What Happens if I Ignore My Toothache?

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Hi, I’m Dr Rajiv Kumar. You can call me “Andy”. I have been serving my patients here at Pitt St Dental Centre here in Sydney CBD for about 15 years.

Over the weekend, I had dinner with a good friend “ Kris”. He recently moved to Kirribilli, so we decided to catch up. While we were chatting, he told me that one of his kids had a toothache a few days ago, but it went away. He asked me, “Do we still need to see a dentist? Since it just went away? Can we ignore it?”

This is such a great question. So, I decided to make this video.

Unfortunately, once a toothache starts, it usually means that there is some sort of infection or crack in the tooth. Now, if the tooth is infected, sometimes, your immune system can help to control the bacteria. So it goes from an acute infection to a chronic infection. But it doesn’t mean the infection is not there. It still remains in the body, irritating the immune system and the infection then slowly expands.The more infection is present, the harder it is to treat and to save the tooth in the future.

Also sometimes, a chronic infection can turn back into an acute infection. If a person’s is run down or tired, the system is challenged. So usually, by that point, it is very dangerous. For example, infection in the upper back molar can potentially spread into the sinus, which is just an empty cavity, and it can go straight from the sinus to the brain. That’s how a lot of Egyptian pharaohs have died in the past.

Infection in the lower tooth can drain down into the lymph node and go to the neck space, and that can potentially close the airways. That’s why before the invention of antibiotics and modern dentistry, dental infections were the third cause of death.

Now, thank goodness we have modern dentistry. So it is important for us to figure out why you have a toothache, treat it early and work out a strategy to prevent infections and toothaches in the future with you. Because prevention and maintenance is the key to long-term dental health. The earlier we treat it, the easier it is to treat, lower the cost of the treatment and the better the prognosis.

I hope you find this video useful, and make sure you never ignore a toothache again. By the way, if you are experiencing a toothache, and call us before 1pm on weekdays, we offer same-day emergency appointments, so we can get you out of pain fast.

Simply call us on 02 9223 4767, complete the booking form on our website, or send us a DM on social media, and we’ll be in touch to help you organise your consultation. See you soon.


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The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional personal diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a dental or medical condition. Never disregard professional advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read or seen on the Site.

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Kristen K.

I have been going to Dr Cai for almost two years and each time I visit he and the staff are so lovely and professional. I cannot recommend them enough.

Nikki J.

Best dentists I have ever been to. I even travelled to Pitt Street Dental when we lived interstate to see them. Very capable, thoughtful and kind dentists and team.

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