Also known as: pulpitis.
What is toothache?
The term toothache refers to pain that comes from an inflammation of the pulp (pulpitis) inside a tooth (this contains the nerves which cause the pain).
What causes toothache?
The most common causes of toothache are:
- tooth decay/cavities
- a tooth abscess
- a crack in the enamel covering of a tooth
- gum infection (gingivitis)
- pain from food being stuck between teeth causing pressure on a tooth.
What are the symptoms of toothache?
The most common symptom is a constant throbbing pain in or around a tooth, which worsens when the tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperatures.
What are toothache care options?
Toothaches can often be prevented with good dental hygiene, including regular brushing/flossing. Most toothaches will need to be treated by a dentist which may involve decay/cavity cleaning and/or filling, tooth extraction, draining of an abscess or removing the nerve in the tooth by a “root canal” treatment.
Over-the-counter pain relievers will help with the pain and antibiotics may be indicated.
Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP
This page was last updated on: June 25, 2021 01:39 PM
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Learn more about
Periodontal disease is the medical term for gum disease.
A cavity, caries, or tooth decay, is the damage that occurs to tooth enamel over time that is one of the most common and preventable chronic conditions seen in children.
A tooth extraction is just another way to say that a tooth is removed, or pulled, from the mouth.
Dental filling or restoration is a treatment to restore function, integrity and shape of the tooth structure, preventing further decay and destruction of the tooth.