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What Are the Consequences of Ignoring an Aching Tooth?

What Are the Consequences of Ignoring an Aching Tooth?

Are you overlooking the discomfort caused by an ongoing toothache? You might believe it’s a trivial issue, but overlooking it could lead to significant health issues. Don’t jeopardize your well-being! Understand the grave repercussions of ignoring a toothache and discover the steps needed to improve your dental health.

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Risking Tooth Loss

Ignoring an aching tooth may have serious consequences. It can be tempting to ignore a toothache, especially if it doesn’t seem too severe, but even mild discomfort can potentially lead to more serious issues that may result in tooth loss. By understanding the risks of ignoring an aching tooth, people can make more informed decisions about their oral health.

An untreated cavity is the simplest consequence of ignoring an aching tooth, as it can eventually lead to permanent damage and even death of the affected tooth. Without prompt treatment, bacteria in the mouth will feed on sugars and create acid that wears away at the enamel and attacks the dentin beneath it – leading to decay and cavities. If left untreated long enough, these cavities can become infected, which may result in infection of gum tissue as well resulting in inflammation (gingivitis) or worse periodontal disease with possible eventual loss of neighboring teeth due to bone atrophy.

In cases where decay is allowed to progress too far before treatment is sought out, root canal therapy may be necessary for saving a decayed tooth from extraction or loss. Root canal therapy does have short-term risks and complications for some patients such as infection, swelling around the treated area, and further pain at the site of the root canal – not to mention the high cost associated with this complicated procedure.

Tooth Decay

When a tooth begins to ache, it is usually a sign that something is wrong. Ignoring the pain can often lead to more serious issues and increased discomfort in the future.

Failing to take care of a toothache in its earliest stages may lead to an infection. If tooth decay has already started and the pain is ignored, it can spread further into the enamel of the tooth and even deeper into the underlying root. To prevent irreversible damage, it’s essential to seek professional dental care as soon as possible.

Untreated dental infections may result in a collection of pus that can spread beyond your gums and cause problems elsewhere in your body. This can eventually involve teeth shifting or being lost altogether, which greatly affects your overall oral health.

As it progresses, swelling and fever may be experienced due to your immune system trying to fight off bacteria from local sources such as food particles that get stuck between teeth or facial tissues that become infected over time from bad oral hygiene habits or lack of treatment for an existing condition.


Ignoring an aching tooth could lead to infection. Bacteria from cavities, gums, and food can accumulate in the mouth and cause the pulp, which is found in the middle of the teeth that consists of tissue, blood vessels, and nerves, to become inflamed. This can lead to an infected or abscessed tooth.

Damage to Other Teeth

When an aching tooth is left untreated for too long, the problem can begin to affect surrounding teeth as well. The bacteria that enter the infected area can spread, allowing for tongue-scraping or saliva to move it from one area of the mouth to another, eventually leading to decay on adjacent teeth as well as the original aching tooth. If this occurs, more serious dental work will be needed and it could result in drilling and filling adjacent teeth.

Additionally, if one does not seek treatment in time, an abscess may develop which can cause pain and potential pus release.

Tmj Pain and Discomfort

When an individual ignores a chronic toothache, certain consequences can quickly present themselves. One common consequence of prolonged tooth pain is a temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ for short. Although there are various causes, one of the main ones is the strain placed on the jaw from ignoring an aching tooth.

TMJ manifests in several ways, ranging from mild to severe symptoms. These include tenderness in the areas surrounding the jaw joint, clicking or popping sounds when opening and closing the mouth, and difficulty chewing due to pain or discomfort. More advanced cases may also involve difficulty articulating words and locking the jaw in extreme cases.

Increased Pain & Swelling

When a toothache is ignored, the underlying problem often worsens and may become more complicated. This can lead to increased pain and swelling as well as other symptoms like fever, headache, difficulty sleeping, and loss of appetite. Ignoring an aching tooth can also cause jaw pain due to inflammation in the area around the affected tooth.

Left untreated, an infection from bacteria in the cavity of a damaged or decayed tooth can spread to other parts of the body, such as nearby bones or gum tissue. This is known as an abscessed tooth and can cause severe complications such as septicemia (blood poisoning) or meningitis if not treated immediately. Further damage caused by an abscessed tooth may require root canal treatment, additional tooth removal, or corrective surgery. In some rare cases, it could even be fatal without prompt medical attention.

Difficulty Chewing & Speaking

Ignoring an aching tooth can have a variety of unpleasant consequences, particularly when it comes to eating and communicating. If the ache or pain radiates when you open your mouth wide, chew or speak, the root cause of your discomfort may be due to an infection within the tooth. Eating can therefore become extremely difficult, as each bite you take may send sharp pain radiating through your jaw. Similarly, speaking can be hard as opening and moving your mouth can cause immense discomfort.

These conditions are also likely to create difficulty when attempting to clear food from between teeth with floss.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the consequences of ignoring an aching tooth?

Ignoring an aching tooth can lead to several dental problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. Without prompt treatment, an infection can spread, leading to a need for root canal treatment or an extraction.

What should I do if I have an aching tooth?

If you have an aching tooth, it is important to seek prompt attention from a dentist. A dentist can assess the cause of the ache and provide appropriate treatment.

What are the treatments available for an aching tooth?

Treatments for an aching tooth vary depending on the cause of the ache. Treatments may include filling a cavity, root canal therapy, extractions, or other treatments. Your dentist can provide more information on the treatments available.


In conclusion, ignoring an aching tooth can have serious repercussions for your overall dental health. It can cause damage to the underlying root structures, leading to infection and decay; it can also aggravate existing dental problems such as gum disease or Periodontitis which are both serious dental concerns. In some cases, it can even lead to the loss of a tooth.

To avoid any of these unpleasant scenarios, it is important to seek professional advice from your dentist straight away if you experience any kind of discomfort in your mouth. Taking good care of your oral health will ensure long-term well-being and prevent expensive treatments down the line.

Therefore, if you ever feel pain in your teeth or gums, be sure to visit your dentist promptly for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

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