Having a toothache is a pain and a nuisance, so it may seem like a relief to wake up one day and notice that the pain is gone. While you might be breathing a sigh of relief, the issue may not be over yet. If you had a tooth that was extremely painful and now doesn't hurt, here's what you should know.
Why It Hurts
When a tooth hurts, it's usually due to trauma, like a sudden impact, or from a wound or infection. In either case, the tooth hurts because the nerve inside the tooth is sending a signal to your brain that something is wrong. Nerves are hidden deep inside the teeth, so generally, an injury or infection has to be fairly serious before it causes pain inside the tooth. So if you've been hurting for a while now, keep in mind that the interior, softer tissues of your tooth may have been impacted, which is where problems really begin.
When It Stops Hurting
For most injuries and wounds, having pain go away is a good thing. But, depending on the severity of the injury or wound, this isn't always true. The same can be said of teeth.
If you have a serious enough problem to be experiencing strong pain in your tooth and it suddenly disappears, this almost never indicates a good thing. Unfortunately, this likely means that the damage has progressed to the point where the nerves in your affected tooth have been damaged. When a nerve ending is damaged severely enough, it can't send signals to the brain, and as a result, pain goes away. However, this likely means that the damage to your tooth has progressed rather than improving.
What To Do
Any toothache calls for visiting a dentist, but if you've noticed that your pain has gone away, you should head there in a hurry. There's a strong likelihood that you'll need a dental extraction in order to resolve the damage and to ensure that any infections don't spread to surrounding tissues and teeth. The longer you wait, the more likely this is to happen, so don't put it off.
Once the tooth has been extracted, your problems will be behind you. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics depending on the type of damage done to the tooth, and whether or not there was an obvious infection. From there, you and your dentist can discuss potential replacements and ways to help prevent this kind of pain and damage from happening to your teeth again.