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Ouch: Don’t Wait Until It Hurts

Dont Wait Until It Hurts

By Hilarie Steele, RDH CEO Operations and Relationships
at Best Natural Smile, Santa Monica, California

Picture this…

You’re having a lovely day.

The sun’s shining, the birds are singing and you’re on top of the world.

Then, out of nowhere….a shot of pain in one of your teeth emerges, and you think to yourself “I guess I shouldn’t have delayed my regular visits to the dentist.”

Don’t Wait Until It Hurts

You’ve been busy with you’re everyday life and because you haven’t felt any discomfort or signals that behind the scenes your smile is breaking down, you thought everything was okay. Honestly, the dentist is on the bottom on your list. You try to recall your last visit and realize it’s been over a year.

Now your day is ruined and as night falls you’re dreading the endless tossing and turning and how you’re going to make it to tomorrow. The only thing you’re thinking of now is “I can’t handle this pain and how am I going to fix this.” You’re not alone and it turns out that most of us “wait until it hurts” to get help.

Take it from me, this is not a good approach. Delaying healthy smile care should be compared to delaying any other preventative or pro-active health care appointments. You always want to err on the side of early detection for all health related issues.

Routine visits that catch unknown issues before they begin will avoid inconveniences in the middle of an otherwise great day. Not to mention, save you money and mental anguish.

Tooth pain is a nightmare that haunts you 24 hours a day until
you get help.

It’s hard to stop and is one of the worst pains you will ever experience. Non stop throbbing is basically what you are left with.


Which is why consistent smile care is so important, to stop problems from sneaking up.

Don’t Wait Until It Hurts

There’s also a good evolutionary explanation for tooth pain. Well quite a few actually.

Dentists are a relatively new phenomenon in the scope of human history. The human body at its basic nature is built for survival.

So the way your teeth are built is to allow you to continue eating for as long as possible. It’s a false sense of security because the thought is “I dont feel anything, so my teeth are fine.” When tooth pain finally rears its ugly head, it can come across with such an intensity that only childbrith is worse. Not to mention, it’s a surprise attack completely without any notice.

Another consideration is that our average lifespan across human history and tooth longevity rarely exceeded 30 years, even up until the Middle Ages. However, even up to present times, life expectancy is now 79.05 years. So these days our teeth can and should stick around longer.

What Causes Tooth Pain?


Let’s take a look at a lineup for the usual suspects to help you navigate:

Gum Infection: Although it may affect both the gums and the tooth itself, a gum infection can still cause severe throbbing pain across a larger area of the face. It’s most commonly caused by a buildup of biofilm bacteria that make up a part of your oral microbiome. Most commonly the root cause is due to poor oral hygiene.

Wear & Tear: Overtime, environmental factors such as the mechanics of chewing food, abnormal breathing through your mouth or misalignment of teeth, can cause the structure and landscape of your teeth to break down and result in extreme sensitivity when chewing or being exposed to extreme temperatures.

Cavity: When the enamel of the tooth is invaded by bad bugs in the oral microbiome or certain types of food are washing over the surfaces of a tooth, it can cause an intrusion (hole) in the tooth that is commonly referred to as decay. You might think it’s nothing when you feel a little twinge in a tooth but CAUTION, do something now. This is your warning sign.

Lost or Dislodged Filling: If one of your fillings happens to become loose, is missing a piece, or is dislodged, then you may very well experience pain and discomfort. It’s time to get help. Don’t wait!

Cracked Tooth: A cracked or fractured tooth is exactly what it sounds like and a tricky situation considering that the discomfort might very well come and go. If you feel it, get it checked.

Wisdom Teeth Pressure: Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that may might not come in at the exact right angle, or even at all, and can cause discomfort and pressure. Wisdom teeth should be monitored throughout adult life and if problematic, should be addressed by a professional.

Headaches and Jaw Tension: You may be surprised to know that pain or discomfort outside of the mouth could be pointing to a disaster brewing inside of the mouth.

Tooth Pain Is A Symptom Of Something More Serious


As referenced by Dr. Dominic Nischwitz in his book ‘It’s All In Your Mouth’, “today we know that most chronic illnesses are not down to coincidence, bad luck, or bad genes. Instead they are the result of constant silent inflammation in the body and the resulting chronic stress. This kind of inflammation often occurs in the mouth.”

Your mouth is the gateway to overall health and well-being. Your entire immune system begins here.

We live and breathe through it, we communicate through it, we eat and drink through it.

Each gulp comes with millions of bacteria both good and bad from jumping from the oral microbiome to the gut microbiome.

So it’s not surprising that the oral microbiome is fundamental to your total overall health.

Why do we put off tooth pain when we would go straight to the ER if the pain were occurring in another part of the body?

As Dr. Mark Hyman says “from infectious and chronic diseases, chronic low energy, inflammation, and even protection from Alzheimer’s—it appears everything is tied to the health of your mouth, gums, teeth, and saliva.”

Dr. Todd LePine also suggests that “the beginning of digestion starts with your mouthand healthy saliva and of all those things are interrelated to being able to digest and absorb nutrients.”

So that toothache you’ve got could actually be doing a lot more harm than you realize especially if the root cause is an infection.

It’s your body telling you that something is seriously wrong.

Don’t Wait Until It Hurts

SOS: I’m in pain! We’re here to help you through it, text us anytime.

We know that tooth pain happens at the most unfortunate and unplanned times. No
worries, we are available 24/7 for any kind of dental drama. Reach out and we’ll give you some individualized instructions and set you up with a visit to get you back in shape! Text us anytime!

We’ll be able to find the root cause of your issue and get to the bottom of your pain and discomfort. We’re adept at creating a safe environment where your tooth ache and a forward path to smile care that avoids these surprises will be resolved.

We’ll also work on a plan for you to support a healthy oral microbiome creating a foundation of health and wellbeing for your entire body.

Go ahead and get in touch to book an appointment now.

A note from Hilarie:

As a dental hygienist and patient advocate located at Best Natural Smile in Santa Monica, California, I am a strong believer that the current dental space experience does not lend itself to achieving smile longevity or give patients the tools and education they need to get there. We are stuck in an ancient system that creates barriers to accessing modern smile care.

I have made it my mission to disrupt the old ways of doing things in the dental space and create a more accessible path to maintaining oral health. I provide complimentary coaching to hundreds of patients. At the end of the day, the story is always the same: patients endlessly asking “How do I stop the breakdown of my smile and who can I trust to keep my smile healthy?”

If you’re interested in learning more or scheduling a complimentary coaching session with me please fill out the form below. From there, my team will reach out to schedule a time for us to chat.

I’m so happy you’re here and can’t wait to see you shine.

hilarie steele, rdh

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