Understanding Toothaches and Tooth Pain

Understanding Toothaches and Tooth Pain

Tooth Pain and Dental Pain

Toothaches and tooth pain can be incredibly annoying, affecting our daily lives and overall general health and well-being. Whether it’s a dull, persistent ache or a sharp, intense pain, dental discomfort is something many of us have experienced at some point. On this page, we’ll explore the common causes of toothaches, how to find temporary tooth pain relief, best way to ease toothache pain and when to consult a dentist for professional care on your oral and dental health.

What is a Toothache?

A toothache is a painful sensation or discomfort experienced in or around a tooth or teeth. It can vary in intensity from mild to severe and may be characterised by different types of pain, including a sharp, stabbing sensation, tooth tenderness, a dull ache, or a throbbing pain. Why tooth pain? Toothaches can result from various underlying dental problems, and the pain can be localised to a specific tooth or radiate to nearby areas of the mouth, jaw, or even the ear.

Does a toothache go away? It’s essential to address a toothache promptly because the underlying cause may worsen if left untreated. Ignoring pain can lead to more significant dental and dental health issues and complications. Seeking dental care from a dentist or dental specialist is crucial for diagnosing the cause of the toothache and determining the appropriate treatment to alleviate the pain and restore your oral health. Keep reading for what helps tooth aches/ best thing for a toothache.

Understanding Toothache Causes

Tooth Decay (Cavities)Stages of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, also known as cavities, is one of the most common causes of toothaches. It occurs when harmful bacteria in the mouth feed on sugars and produce acids that erode the protective enamel of the teeth. Over time, this erosion can lead to tiny holes, or cavities, in the tooth’s structure.

These cavities expose the sensitive inner layers of the tooth, resulting in a painful toothache and tooth root. The discomfort from cavities can range from a mild, intermittent twinge to a severe and constant ache where your teeth hurt, depending on the extent of the decay.

Wisdom Teeth Pain

Wisdom tooth pain is also a common dental concern experienced by many individuals, typically occurring during late adolescence or early adulthood when these teeth start to emerge. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, often lack sufficient space in the jaw to grow correctly, leading to a range of discomforts. This pain can manifest as a dull ache, pressure, or even sharp, intermittent pain at the back of the mouth.

In some cases, wisdom tooth pain is accompanied by swelling, redness, or irritation of the surrounding gum tissue. Due to their location and potential for impaction, wisdom teeth can become a source of significant discomfort, necessitating a dentist’s evaluation to determine whether removal is necessary to alleviate tooth pain and prevent future dental problems.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis, is another common culprit behind toothaches. This condition develops when plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, builds up on the teeth and along the gumline. Over time, the toxins produced by these bacteria can lead to inflammation and infection in the gums. As gum disease progresses, it can affect the supporting structures of the teeth, causing sore teeth and a persistent toothache. Treating the gum disease of the infected tooth promptly is crucial to prevent further dental complications and additional tooth infection / periodontal disease.

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity, often characterised by sharp, sudden pain when consuming hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and beverages, can be a source of discomfort. This sensitivity is typically due to exposed dentin, a porous layer beneath the enamel, which contains nerve endings. When dentin of the affected tooth becomes exposed, it can result in tooth pain as external stimuli trigger these nerve endings. Tooth sensitivity can occur due to factors like gum recession, enamel erosion, or cracks in the enamel. Often, ‘over brushing’ can cause sensitivity.

Dental Trauma

Accidents or injuries can lead to toothaches, particularly if the teeth suffer direct trauma or damage. A sudden impact, such as a fall or a blow to the face, can cause a broken tooth, fractures, cracks, or dislodgment of teeth and create severe pain. In such cases, a painful toothache or jaw swelling can develop immediately or gradually as the injury’s effects become more apparent. Dental trauma, such as a cracked tooth or extreme tooth pain can’t sleep, requires prompt evaluation and treatment by an emergency dentist to assess the extent of damage and prevent further complications.

Tooth Grinding (Bruxism)

Bruxism, or tooth grinding, is a habit many people have, often unknowingly, while they sleep. The constant pressure and friction caused by teeth grinding together or clenching the teeth can result in a sore tooth or a dull, persistent toothache. Over time, bruxism can lead to tooth wear, fractures, and even damage to other dental restorations like fillings or crowns. Managing bruxism through nightguards or other dental interventions is essential to alleviate tooth pain and protect the teeth from further harm.

Understanding the specific cause of your toothache is essential for effective treatment and long-term relief. If you experience persistent or severe tooth pain, it is advisable to seek professional dental care to address the underlying issue and maintain optimal oral health.


How do I make my Tooth Pain go away?

My tooth hurts. What helps with tooth pain? What’s the best for tooth pain? Get to a Dentist! If you can’t get to a dentist straight away, here are a few temporary pain relief tips to help ease the pain until you can:

Rinse with Warm Saltwater

The best thing for toothache is gargling with salt in warm water, which can relieve temporary toothache by reducing inflammation and cleansing the mouth. Saltwater is a natural disinfectant and is good to help heal wounds.

Over-the-Counter Pain Relief

Non-prescription pain relievers like ibuprofen can help alleviate tooth pain temporarily. For aching tooth pain relief, follow the recommended dosage instructions and consider your medical history. You can also ask the Pharmacist for help relieving dental pain and your best option for a toothache painkiller.

Cold Compress

Applying a cold compress or an ice pack to the outside of your cheek near the painful tooth can reduce swelling and numb the area where you feel pain, providing relief.

Toothache Gels

There are topical gels designed to help tooth pain, and toothaches can help numb the area and provide short-term relief. If the tooth pain lingers, make an appointment with your general dentistry provider.

Avoid Triggers

Avoid extremely hot foods or cold foods and beverages that may exacerbate the pain if you have sensitivity.

Clove Oil

Clove oil, as a toothache medicine, is renowned for its remarkable ability to alleviate pain, and help when dealing with dental pain, thanks to its natural component called eugenol. When applied topically to the affected area, its anti-inflammatory properties act as a potent pain reliever, providing relief from discomfort and discomfort. It is often listed as a home remedy for sensitive teeth pain.

Ice Pack on Dental Pain

How do I know if Tooth Pain is Serious?

Is your tooth hurting? How to stop severe tooth pain? While these above toothache relief methods can offer temporary respite, the best cure for toothache is to consult a dentist. When experiencing a severe toothache or persistent pain, a dentist can identify the cause of your dental discomfort and provide the appropriate treatment. Your dentist can also prescribe the strongest toothache medicine available if they are unable to treat you the same day. Here’s when you should seek professional dental care:

Severe Toothache

If your toothache is excruciating and persists for more than a day or two, it’s crucial to see a dentist promptly.

Swelling or Fever

Any signs of infection, such as swelling around the tooth each or a fever, require immediate dental attention.

Dental Trauma

If you’ve experienced an injury to your teeth, gums, or mouth, don’t delay seeking dental care and see a dentist.

Chronic Toothache

A toothache that keeps returning or lingers for an extended period could signify a more significant dental issue.

Trouble Swallowing

Difficulty swallowing, known as dysphagia, can be caused by various medical conditions or factors. If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulty swallowing, getting them emergency care is essential.

Dental Treatments for Toothaches

The treatment for toothaches depends on the underlying cause of the tooth pain and if you are suffering from sharp pain or require milder toothache relief.

Here are common dental treatments for toothaches:

Dental Fillings: If a toothache is caused by a cavity (dental decay), the dentist will typically remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill it with a dental filling, which can be made of materials like ceramic (inlays or onlays) or composite resin.

Root Canal Therapy: Root canals may be necessary when the toothache is due to an infection or inflammation in the tooth pulp (the innermost part). This involves removing the infected or damaged pulp and sealing the tooth to prevent further infection.

Tooth Extraction: In cases where a tooth is severely damaged, decayed beyond repair, or impacted (such as a wisdom tooth), the dentist may recommend tooth extraction. This, of course, removes the source of the tooth pain and is then ideally replaced with a new dental implant.

Gum Disease Treatment: If gum disease is the cause of the toothache, the dentist may perform deep cleaning procedures, scaling, and root plane to remove plaque and tartar buildup and provide instructions for improving oral hygiene.

Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or paracetamol can temporarily relieve toothache pain. Dentists may also prescribe prescription painkillers, antibiotics or antimicrobial rinses for dental infections and to reduce inflammation.

Dental Restorations: Cracked or broken teeth can be repaired with dental crowns, which protect and strengthen the tooth, or with dental bonding for minor repairs. Your damaged tooth may also need to be extracted and replaced with a dental implant.

Orthodontic Treatment: In some cases, toothaches can be caused by misalignment or overcrowding of teeth. Orthodontic treatment, such as braces or clear aligners, can help alleviate these dental conditions and reduce the pain over time.

Nightguards: If tooth grinding (bruxism) is the culprit behind the toothache, a mouth guard or nightguard can be custom-fitted to protect teeth from grinding during sleep.

Muscle Relaxant Injections: Along with their aesthetic applications, these injections have proven particularly effective in addressing dental problems, such as Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) dysfunction and bruxism, by freezing the tiny muscles that cause you to grind or flex.

Tooth Desensitising Fluoride Toothpaste: For sensitive teeth, your dentist may apply desensitising agents or recommend special fluoride toothpaste designed to reduce your sensitivity and dental pain over time. They employ a combination of active ingredients that target the root causes of sensitive teeth. Typical ‘sensitive toothpastes’ contain potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. These compounds either block the tiny tubules in the dentin (the layer beneath the tooth enamel) that transmit pain signals to the nerve or desensitise the nerve itself.

In Dental Pain? Aria can help.

Understanding the Toothaches

Toothaches and tooth pain disrupt your daily life, but understanding the causes and knowing how to find toothache relief can help alleviate your discomfort. While home remedies may provide temporary relief, what helps tooth pain or what makes toothache go away is visiting your Aria dentist! This is essential for diagnosing and treating the underlying dental issue causing pain. Don’t suffer in silence; promptly address your toothache to maintain a healthy, pain-free smile.

Good oral hygiene is the first and foremost defence against tooth pain and many oral health problems. It involves a consistent routine of brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups. By diligently removing food particles and plaque from the teeth’s surfaces and in-between spaces, one can prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

These common oral issues, if left unchecked, can cause significant discomfort and pain. Routine general dental visits allow for early detection of potential problems, enabling timely interventions to prevent them from progressing into painful conditions. Good oral hygiene isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s a fundamental step in safeguarding oral health and minimising the risk of tooth pain and discomfort.

It’s essential to consult a dentist when experiencing a toothache, especially if the tooth pain is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other symptoms like swelling, fever, or discharge. Ignoring a toothache can lead to more significant problems and complications. Our Aria Dental dentists can help diagnose and offer appropriate treatment to help resolve the underlying issue and alleviate your toothache while preserving oral health.

Are you suffering from dental pain? Aria can help.
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