Toothache Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention

August 11, 2022

Toothache Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention

What are the causes, symptoms, and treatment of a toothache? When should you see a dentist about your toothache? How can you prevent toothaches? These commonly asked questions will be answered in this article.

Maybe you feel pain while eating or drinking. Or perhaps you have noticed soreness in your mouth for a few days. Whatever your experience, all signs point to a toothache.

What causes a toothache?
Like most pain, soreness in your mouth or around a tooth can increase over time. It might start as an irritation, but without attention the pain worsens.

There are numerous causes of a toothache or mouth pain. Some could be considered minor while others have more serious consequences.

Minor toothache pain may possibly be caused by:

  • Something caught between your teeth and gums (e.g., popcorn kernel, sticky candy, food particles, etc.).
  • Worn tooth enamel due to the routine consumption of foods or beverages that are high in sugar or acid.
  • A small crack or fracture in your tooth structure.
TMD Treatment

More significant toothache issues might be the result of:

  • An abscess caused by a bacterial infection.
  • Gum disease that reveals an infection in the tissue surrounding your teeth.
  • Tooth decay that has progressed into a cavity.
  • Teeth sensitivity due to a cavity, old/worn dental fillings, receding gums, or a cracked tooth.
  • Teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism) during the day or while sleeping.
  • An impacted tooth or teeth, such as a wisdom tooth that has not emerged properly.

Any of these causes may lead to noticeable pain symptoms. If you are currently experiencing severe tooth pain, be sure to contact your dentist right away.

Toothache symptoms you should not ignore

It is difficult—and inadvisable—to ignore increasing tooth or mouth pain. An awareness of all your symptoms is the first step to getting relief. Ask yourself:

  • Are you feeling pain when biting, chewing, or drinking a hot or cold beverage?
  • Do you have a fever? If so, how high is your temperature?
  • Is there any swelling in your mouth, gums, jaw, or face?
  • Has your toothache worsened or remained the same for more than a few days?

These symptoms indicate that your mouth probably needs immediate attention by your dentist. Fortunately, treatment is usually available that can relieve your pain quickly.

What your dentist can do about a toothache

After identifying major toothache symptoms, the next step is contacting your dentist to schedule an examination and determine the best treatment for your specific situation.

Typically, a dentist will:

  • Review your health and dental history.
  • Ask questions about your tooth or mouth pain and related toothache symptoms.
  • Examine your mouth and find the source of the pain, including any swelling, inflammation, or signs of infection.
  • Obtain x-rays if necessary to check for a dental abscess, cavity, or other issues.
  • Rule out any conditions unrelated to your teeth or gums, such as a sinus infection, TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction, etc.

Common toothache treatments

Following a diagnosis, your dentist will recommend the most effective treatment to alleviate the cause of your specific toothache. A treatment plan for a toothache may include:

  • Over-the-counter pain reliever or a prescription medication for more severe pain.
  • An antibiotic to treat an abscess or other gum-related conditions.
  • An oral rinse or topical fluoride treatment.
  • A dental procedure, such as a filling for a cavity, a root canal for more severe tooth damage or decay, or periodontal therapy for gum disease issues.

How to prevent toothaches

Consistent oral hygiene habits are the best preventative actions to avoid getting toothaches caused by cavities, gum disease, and teeth sensitivity.

  • Brush and floss your teeth two times daily or more.
  • Schedule and follow through on dental examinations and professional teeth cleanings at least twice per year, or as recommended by your dentist.
  • Maintain good, healthy lifestyle habits, such as avoiding potentially harmful foods.

Contact Tuxedo Dental Group in Winnipeg about any toothache symptoms you may have. Schedule an appointment with our experienced dentists to determine the cause of your tooth or mouth pain, get fast relief, and restore your oral health.


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