Toothaches: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention

Toothaches: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention


By Dr. Prathyusha Prasad, Dentistry

Pain in your teeth and jaw is commonly referred to as toothache. The pain may be constant, throbbing or sharp. You may even have a headache or fever along with pain.

A toothache may be caused by the following conditions:

  1. Tooth decay.
  2. Infected tooth.
  3. Tooth fracture (breaking of a part of the tooth).
  4. An impaired filling.
  5. Constant motions, such as grinding teeth or chewing gum.
  6. Infected gums.

The cause of the toothache decides what kind of treatment you will be administered:

  1. If you have tooth decay or cavities, the cavity will be filled in or the tooth will be removed if required.
  2. If you have an infection, you may need a root canal (a mode of treatment which helps to repair or save a badly infected or a damaged tooth).
  3. If you have toothache with fever and a swollen jaw, you will be given antibiotics.
  4. Occasionally, to reduce inflammation and pain, phototherapy (using light to treat illness) in combination with other treatments will be used.

Tooth decay is the number one cause of toothache, thus good oral care can go a long way in preventing pain and inflammation in the tooth.

  1. Get into the habit of brushing twice a day, daily. Use a fluoride based toothpaste and a brush with soft bristles.
  2. Floss your teeth daily after you are done brushing your teeth.
  3. Use an antiseptic mouthwash to rinse your mouth.
  4. Visit your dentist at least two times in a year.

Besides these practices, make sure to eat less of foods that erode your tooth enamel, such as sodas or sweets.