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What Symptoms and Signs May Accompany a Toothache?
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Toothache and jaw pain are common complaints. It is not unusual for one to feel mild pain from pressure and hot or cold exposure to the tooth. However, if the pain is severe or persists for longer than 15 seconds after the pressure or temperature exposure ceases, then this could be an indication of a more serious problem. If there is severe inflammation of the tooth, the pain can radiate to the cheek, the ear, or the jaw. The signs and symptoms that might lead one to seek care include the following:
These signs and symptoms may sometimes be associated with dental decay or gum disease (periodontal disease). Dental decay or an area of redness around the tooth's gum line may point to the source of pain. If one taps an infected tooth, it may make the pain more intense. This sign may point to the problem tooth even if the tooth appears normal.
A toothache needs to be differentiated from other sources of pain in the face. Sinusitis, ear or throat pain, or an injury to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that attaches the jaw to the skull can be confused with toothache. Pain from a deeper structure (called referred pain) may be passed along the nerve and be felt in the jaw or tooth. In order to pinpoint the source of the pain and get relief, an evaluation by a dentist or doctor is appropriate.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017
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