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Tooth Pain/ Toothache

Tooth Pain/ Toothache Treatment

Toothache is one of the most common problems in the oral cavity. Majority of people suffer from toothache during some time of their life. In fact, this is one of the diseases that people fear the most. The reasons for this condition are many, some of the most frequent ones being decay, abscess, dental trauma, infection, gum diseases, extensive wear and tear of teeth and other periodontal causes. If left untreated, toothaches can lead to severe ear aches, headaches, pain in jaws and throat, irritability and several other conditions. A toothache may even precipitate diabetes and heart problem! When identified in time, the ache can be permanently cured. Good oral hygiene should be practiced to avoid toothaches.

TOOTH PAIN/ TOOTHACHE: Symptoms and Causes

The root cause of toothache is inflammation in the dentin and pulp (inner core) of a tooth. Pulp is the soft central area that contains nerves and blood vessels. When this portion is damaged or diseased due to different causes, the person experiences extreme pain in the jaws and root of the tooth.

Depending on the cause, toothache can manifest in different ways.

  • Prolonged and persistent pain stretching over hours
  • Incessant, sharp and lacerating pain that radiates to the jaw, cheek, ear and head
  • Pain with intervals of a few minutes
  • Sharp pain when probed or touched
  • Dull throbbing pain

It is very important to consider how toothache manifests because the kind of pain indicates the cause of toothache and eventually its management. For example, sharp and intermittent pain indicates enamel loss, sensitivity, gum recession or cavity. Chronic pain indicates problem in the pulp area. Throbbing pain indicates abscess or infection. Pain while chewing indicates cavities. Dull pain in the left jaw could also indicate an impending cardiac arrest.

Symptoms of toothache

Often, toothache is a symptom of more severe underlying problems and hence should never be ignored. Besides the direct pain experienced at the site of affected tooth while chewing and exposure to stimuli such as heat, cold or pressure, the below given are the common symptoms associated with toothache.

  • Bleeding from the affected tooth
  • Discharge of fluids other than blood from the affected tooth
  • Swelling of the jaws and gums at the site of infection
  • Continuous and throbbing headaches or earaches

Sinusitis, infection of the ear or throat, and injury to the TMJ joint (temporomandibular joint) that joins the skull and jaw cause a pseudo pain in the teeth. It is important to differentiate the causes of toothache from the causes of real dental problems and treat them accordingly.

Symptoms when medical consultation is mandatory

  • Ache that does not recede after a couple of days of tooth extraction
  • No relief is experienced after consuming over-the-counter painkillers
  • Swelling in the entire face or part of the face containing the effected tooth
  • Discharge from tooth (blood and other discharges)
  • Fever following dental ache
  • Pain caused due to severe trauma or injury to teeth
  • Injury to the TMJ joint which leads to an pain when mouth is opened wide
  • Toothache resulting from head or face injuries
  • Facial rashes followed by toothache
  • Vomiting, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness and other such discomforts following toothache
  • Jaw pain followed by chest pain
  • Excessive bleeding or pain in gums


Dentists perform a thorough physical examination in order to diagnose the cause for toothache. Alongside, they also study the medical history of the patient in order to eliminate other causes that lead to pseudo or false toothache. In some cases, dental X-rays are required.
Treatment for toothache
Treatment depends on the cause of toothache. The dentist prescribes antibiotics and analgesics to reduce infection and aches. In extreme cases, hospitalization or surgery might be necessary.
Home remedies and natural treatments for toothaches
Every person should give a lot of importance to preventing toothaches. The right way of brushing, flossing and tongue cleaning are extremely essential. Toothpaste containing fluoride can be helpful in maintaining good health of teeth. In case of aches, the below given home remedies help in providing relief until the patient can visit a dentist.
  • Application of ice packs to the affected area
  • Application of clove oil on the aching tooth
  • Chewing a garlic clove to reduce infections
  • Aspirin can help reduce pain
  • Place warm tea bag at the affected area
  • Mouth-rinsing with warm salted water
  • Dip a cotton swab in brandy and apply at the painful area
  • Apply onion juice or paste at the area of infection
  • Apply cotton swab dipped in apple cider vinegar
  • Apply a couple of drop of vanilla essence
  • A few drops of wheat grass extracts are very soothing

Precautions to take when toothache occurs

  • Do not eat or drink things that are too hot or cold
  • Do not chew on the affected side because food particles get stuck in the tooth and increase pain
  • Do not consume foods that are acidic in nature

Toothache can be completely cured with the right treatment. Visiting your dentist at the earliest time is the best choice you can make.

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