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What you need to know about Toothaches

When you have pain in or near your tooth, you have a toothache. Pain from a toothache is typically an indication that your gums or teeth are unhealthy.

However, dental discomfort can occasionally be transferred to pain. As a result, the pain is coming from a different part of your body.

Toothaches should never be disregarded. If neglected, toothaches brought on by dental decay might worsen.

Although toothaches are typically not dangerous, they occasionally can be symptoms of serious illnesses that need to be treated right once.

Toothache Symptoms

Toothache pain can be mild to severe, and it can be continuous or intermittent.

You could feel:

  • Throbbing discomfort or swelling near or on your gums or tooth
  • Fever
  • When you bite down or touch your tooth, you feel a searing pain
  • Sensitivity and discomfort in or near your teeth
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks that causes you pain
  • Pain that feels like shock or scorching, which is unusual


A dentist can identify your toothache pain. To locate the pain’s cause and check for signs of dental deterioration, such as swelling and redness, they could tap on the tooth. Your dentist has to confirm that your teeth are the source of the discomfort and not sinusitis, an ear infection, or a temporomandibular joint injury.

A diagnosis can be made after a comprehensive evaluation of the oral cavity and medical history. X-rays are frequently employed to provide a clearer view of the pain’s origin.


Typical reasons for toothaches

The most typical cause of toothaches is tooth decay. An abscess may form if untreated dental decay is left untreated. This is an infection that has spread to the pulp inside or close to your tooth.

If you suspect a dental abscess, visit your dentist as soon as possible. In a few rare instances, the infection may move to your brain, which might be fatal.

An impacted tooth may also be the source of a toothache. This occurs when a tooth, typically a wisdom tooth, becomes embedded in the bone or gum tissue. It is unable to grow in or erupt as a result.

Toothaches are a common source of transferred pain

A viral, bacterial, or fungal infection in the sinus cavity can cause sinusitis, which is an inflammation of the sinuses.

Your upper teeth’s roots are close to your sinuses, therefore sinusitis might result in pain there.

Less common sources of transferred pain in Toothaches

Toothaches can also be brought on by lung cancer and heart disease. A toothache occasionally could be an indication of an impending heart attack.

Because of where your vagus nerve is located, heart and lung conditions might induce toothache discomfort. This nerve connects your brain to your body’s various organs, including your heart and lungs. Your jaw is broken by it.

Rare sources of transferred pain in Toothaches

Your trigeminal and occipital nerves become irritated or inflamed as a result of the painful neurological disorders trigeminal neuralgia and occipital neuralgia.

Your teeth, face, and skull are all served by these nerves. You may have tooth-like discomfort when your gums are irritated.


A tooth infection could result in serious or even life-threatening problems. Sepsis, Ludwig’s angina, and cavernous sinus thrombosis are a few instances. Untreated tooth infections can, over the course of weeks or months, spread to other parts of the body.

When to call a Dentist

If you experience a toothache that lasts longer than two days, visit a dentist. While you wait for an appointment, there are things you may do to make it easier.

If you have a toothache and any of the following symptoms, get to the hospital right away:

  • Swelling in your face or jaw. This could be a symptom that your tooth infection is spreading.
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath. Heart attack symptoms such as chest discomfort, breathlessness, dizziness, or other symptoms.
  • Wheezing. A persistent cough, or coughing up blood.
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing. Breathing and swallowing difficulties may be indications of lung cancer.

Find a local Dentists

Four steps to easing toothache while waiting for an appointment:

  • Take painkillers. Ibuprofen or paracetamol (children under the age of 16 should not take aspirin); a pharmacist can help you with this).
  • Gargle with salt water. (children should not try this)
  • Use mouth gel to relieve discomfort. Mouth Gel is available from pharmacies or grocery stores.
  • Avoid chewing. Try to eat soft foods like yoghurt or scrambled eggs.


Usually, toothaches require medical attention. In the interim, while you wait for your dentist visit, home remedies may provide temporary pain relief.

Dentist treatment

Since dental issues account for the majority of toothaches, most people will visit the dentist when they experience one.

For the purpose of identifying tooth decay or other dental issues, your dentist will examine your teeth physically and take X-rays. Additionally, they might prescribe you some painkillers and antibiotics to treat an infection.

If tooth decay is the cause of your toothache, your dentist will use a drill to remove the decay and then fill the empty space with dental materials. Surgical extraction of an impacted tooth may be necessary.

Your dentist could suggest that you see a doctor for additional evaluation and treatment if they are unable to identify the root of your toothache.

Sinusitis treatment

Antibiotics or decongestant medication may be prescribed by your dentist or doctor to treat sinusitis. On rare occasions, you could require surgery to widen your nasal airways. In this situation, your doctor will send you to see a specialist.

Treatment for occipital and trigeminal neuralgia

These ailments have no known treatment. The typical course of treatment entails using medications to treat your pain.

Treatment for lung cancer, heart disease, and heart attacks

Your dentist will refer you to the hospital if they believe you are experiencing a heart attack. Your dentist will refer you to a doctor for additional testing if they have reason to believe you have a heart or lung condition.

Home Remedies

You can try the following things to temporarily ease tooth pain:

View 11 of the best home remedies for toothache. Before taking any product containing benzocaine, consult your doctor or dentist. Benzocaine-containing products shouldn’t be used by children under 2 years old.

Toothache Prevention

Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, and visit your dentist for checkups and cleanings at least twice a year, or more frequently as directed by your dentist, to help avoid toothaches.

Avoiding smoking, eating a low-fat and high-fibre diet, and working out five times a week for at least 30 minutes can all help keep your heart and lungs healthy. Obtain your doctor’s approval before beginning an exercise programme.