Toothache Causes, Symptoms & Remedies

Dental Emergency - image of Tooth, first aid kit, and magnifier - Country Dental Clinics

Causes of Toothache

Do you know the causes of toothache? Were you aware 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, which can affect our eating habits, our ability to sleep, and how we go about our day-to-day lives. Knowing the causes of toothache is very important in properly treating the actual issue and not just relieving the toothache 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.

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

What Can Cause Toothache Pain

There are several causes of severe tooth pain including:

  • Sensitive or infected gums
  • Abscessed tooth
  • Chipped or broken tooth
  • Damaged fillings (see our blog on Types of Dental Fillings)
  • 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 causes of toothache such as cold drinks, sweet foods, biting down, or putting pressure on the teeth can at times be triggers or make the tooth pain worse.

Toothache Symptoms to Watch For

Depending on the severity and causes of 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

Whether or not you know the causes of toothache, be sure to 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 to find the causes of toothache, as the issue will likely only get worse or more severe.

Only a dental examination can determine the causes of toothache, which is necessary for the proper treatment. Our dentists have put together this article on the Importance of Regular Dental Exams, which is well worth the read.

How to Get Rid of a Toothache

Once your dentist has determined the causes of toothache pain he or she 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 pain 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 custom 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 Cambridge, Fergus, and Toronto Ontario, we are open 7 days a week. We also offer evening appointments 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

Fergus Dental Clinic:                  519-787-7878

The Canadian Dental Association offers additional information on Dental Safety and Emergencies.