Commonly Visited Categories

Health News Healthcare Healthy Lifestyle Know Your Country Know your Doctor Patient Stories 

Dental pain, or tooth ache is one of the most common symptoms which brings individuals to meet a dentist. It also makes a large component of dental emergencies. A multitude of causes underlie toothaches and almost everyone has experienced it at some point in their lives.

Causes of toothache

  • Tooth decay: cavities and dental caries are the most common cause of tooth ache
  • Infection or abscess in the root of the tooth
  • Trauma to the teeth
  • Impacted teeth: When a tooth has trouble growing through the gums it can get stuck and cause pain
  • Gum disease or Gingivitis: infection and inflammation of the gums
  • Sensitive teeth: Exposure to heat or cold causes pain, this is generally due to disease of the roots of the teeth
  • Sinus infection: This can present with pain in the upper mouth appearing as tooth ache

Evaluation of toothache

On presenting to a dentist, the cause of your toothache would be evaluated by the following

  • Dental examination
  • Imaging: a panoramic radiograph is an X ray of the upper and lower jaw can identify impacted teeth, factures and abscesses in the roots.

Treatment of Toothache

Prior to meeting a dentist, the following measures can be taken to relieve the pain.

  • Rinse and clean the mouth with warm water.
  • Gentle flossing can be attempted to remove food debris.
  • A cold compress can be applied externally for pain following trauma.
  • An over the counter pain killer can be taken.
  • Avoid applying any medicines or creams directly over the tooth. Aspirin and other local medicines can cause burning of the gums.
  • Benzocaine, a local anaesthetic can be applied lightly, but carries a risk of getting absorbed into the blood stream to cause methemoglobinemia. This decreases the oxygen carriage of the blood.

Treatment specific to the cause will be administered by the dentist

  • Tooth decay: Filling, crowning or extraction of the tooth
  • Impacted tooth: Extraction
  • Abscess: Root canal treatment

For long term care of your teeth from preventable causes of toothache, maintenance of oral hygiene is recommended with brushing twice a day and flossing once daily by the American Dental Association


  • Dental Emergency - American Dental Association .
  • Agnihotry A, Fedorowicz Z, van Zuuren EJ, Farman AG, Al‐Langawi JH. Antibiotic use for irreversible pulpitis. In: The Cochrane Library [Internet]. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2016 [cited 2018 May 23]. Available from:
  • Research C for DE and. Drug Safety and Availability - Risk of serious and potentially fatal blood disorder prompts FDA action on oral over-the-counter benzocaine products used for teething and mouth pain and prescription local anesthetics [Internet]. [cited 2018 May 23]. Available from:

Dentistry, toothache


Related Articles - Would you like to read other blogs in this category?

Online Reviews for Dental Practices Are Worth Their Weight in Gold
Online Reviews for Dental Practices Are Worth Their Weight in Gold

Harness the Power of Online ReviewsDid you know that 88% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase? You can find an online review for anything these...

What are the Healthy Habits for Dental Care
What are the Healthy Habits for Dental Care

Taking care of your teeth is not something you do all in one day and then forget about. It takes consistency, time and knowledge of the best practices to mai...

The Role of Yearly Dental Visits in Prevention
The Role of Yearly Dental Visits in Prevention

The Benefits of Annual Dental VisitsThe American Dental Association recommends each individual visit the dentist once a year. This visit should include a reg...

What is a Dentist? Learn about Dentistry and Dental Health
What is a Dentist? Learn about Dentistry and Dental Health

What is a Dentist?Dentists are doctors who provides diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases included cavities, gum problems, root canal etc. Their office is...