Toothache – 6 Possible Causes
A toothache is pain or throbbing in the teeth and/or their supporting structures, likely caused by one of these six factors:
- Tooth decay
- Abscessed tooth
- Tooth fracture
- A damaged filling
- Teeth grinding
- Infected gums
Non-dental causes include: neurovascular origin in conjunction with a migraine. Local and distant structures such as the jawbones and gums can also refer pain to the teeth. Symptoms of a toothache may include: Tooth pain that may be sharp, throbbing, or constant, swelling around the tooth, facial swelling, fever or headache.
If you have a toothache and cannot find a dentist to help, you can place an ice pack or a cold compress against the outside of the cheek for 15 minutes or use painkillers. It is recommended you immediately contact your dentist for toothaches lasting longer than a day or if pain is severe.
Treatment for a toothache depends on the cause. If it’s a cavity a filling may be necessary. A root canal might be needed if the cause of the toothache is determined to be an infection of the tooth’s nerve. Most toothaches are caused by tooth decay, and can thus be prevented by following good oral hygiene practices and attending regular checkups.