Toothache Causes, Symptoms & Remedies

Did you know that the tooth is the most sensitive part of the human body?

From time to time we can develop toothaches or throbbing tooth pain that can last for a day or longer, and affects our eating habits, our ability to sleep, and how we go about our day-to-day lives. Knowing the cause of the tooth pain is very important in properly treating the actual issue and not just relieving the toothache.

In this blog post, our Toronto and Cambridge emergency dentists will describe the common causes of toothaches, plus toothache symptoms to watch for, and how to stop tooth pain.

Before you read further please note that if you have ongoing tooth pain lasting more than 1-2 days, it is important to contact your local dentist right away. If you do not have a family dentist, Country Dental in Cambridge and Toronto Ontario is always accepting new patients of all ages.

Common Toothache Causes

There are several causes of severe tooth pain including:

  • Sensitive or infected gums
  • Abscessed tooth
  • Chipped or broken tooth
  • Damaged filling
  • Grinding of teeth (learn about the benefits of mouth guards if you grind your teeth)
  • Decayed food
  • Bacterial infection
  • Severe trauma to the teeth as a result of an accident
  • Wisdom teeth coming in (late teen, early adult years)

Additional triggers such as cold drinks, sweet foods, biting down, or putting pressure on the teeth can at times start your toothache or make it worse.

Toothache Symptoms to Watch For

Depending on the severity and cause of your toothache there are several symptoms you may experience:

  • Tooth pain that can be described as sharp, throbbing, and constant
  • Tooth pain that occurs when pressure is applied to the teeth
  • Swollen or painful gums
  • Swelling and inflammation around the tooth
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Earache
  • Foul-tasting drainage from the tooth or infected area

When to Call a Dentist for a Toothache

Call your dentist if your toothache lasts for more than 1 or 2 days. If symptoms such as a fever, earache, or foul taste accompany the toothache, you should also call your dentist immediately. If your tooth pain affects what you can or cannot eat or your sleeping patterns, or if you find yourself constantly taking painkillers to try to relieve the pain, contact your local dentist. Don’t postpone seeking treatment for your toothache, as the issue will likely only get worse or more severe.

Only a dental examination can determine the cause and proper treatment for your toothache. Our dentists have put together this article on the Importance of Regular Dental Exams.

How to Get Rid of a Toothache

Once your dentist has determined the cause of the tooth pain they will be able to recommend proper treatment to treat both the pain and the cause of the pain. For example:

  • If a cavity is causing the tooth pain then a filling or extraction may be required.
  • If the toothache is caused by an infection at the tooth’s nerve you may require a root canal.
  • If your gums are infected you may need to be prescribed an antibiotic.
  • If you are clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth you may require a night guard.

While you wait to see a dentist or receive dental treatment, there are several home toothache remedies and activities you can try to help relieve the pain:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water.
  • Take pain relievers like Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen.
  • Rub the area with over the counter toothache pain relievers such as benzocaine.
  • Floss teeth to remove foot particles that may be causing pain.
  • Avoid chewing on the side of the mouth where the tooth pain is located.

Need to Call an Emergency Dentist?

If your toothache pain is severe and you do not have a dentist, or if you need an emergency dentist, please contact our Country Dental office anytime. With new dental offices in both Cambridge and Toronto Ontario, we are open 7 days a week with evening appointments available for your convenience. Country dental also offers a 24-hour emergency dental phone line.

To get emergency dental help call us immediately.

Toronto Emergency Dentist:                  416-335-7377

Cambridge Emergency Dentist:             519-620-7474