Treating Your Toothaches

One of the worst types of pain is a toothache. Anytime there is pain in or around your tooth, it’s miserable. Sometimes, this pain is just a temporary gum irritation you can treat at home. In other cases, you’ll need professional dental treatment to eliminate any pain and fix the underlying problem.

Common Symptoms

The cause of your toothache determines what type of pain and symptoms you’ll experience. The most common symptoms include: 

  • A dull ache that doesn’t go away
  • Teeth sensitivity
  • Sharp, throbbing pain
  • Swelling in the gums

Fortunately, there are some things you can do at home to alleviate the pain. Pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can ease most discomfort and reduce tenderness. Applying ice to the affected area helps shrink blood vessels and reduce pain and inflammation. You can wrap a bag of ice or frozen veggies in a clean towel and hold it against your outside jaw for about 20 minutes. Repeat several times a day.

Treating Your ToothachesWhat Causes Toothaches

Tooth pain can develop due to many circumstances. The most common include:

  • Gum disease
  • Grinding or clenching teeth
  • Cavities
  • Abscessed tooth
  • Cracked teeth
  • A damaged dental restoration (like a crown or filling)

Until you know what is causing the toothache, it’s difficult to determine how long it will last. For example, temporary gum irritation can cause discomfort for a few days and disappear. You’ll need to see a dentist if it’s something more serious.

When to See Your Dentist

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you must see your dentist immediately. They include: 

  • Fever 
  • Chills
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
  • Abnormally red gums
  • Pain that lasts more than one or two days
  • Discharge or pus

Your dentist will ask you about your symptoms, perform an examination, and take X-rays to find the root problem. Several toothache treatments are available; the one that’s right for you depends on the severity of your situation. Addison Dental Group offers the following services to treat toothaches.

Dental FillingsTreating Your Toothaches

If you have a small cavity or a small piece of your tooth has broken off, your dentist will probably recommend a dental filling. During this procedure, they’ll remove damaged portions of your tooth and fill the void with a strong dental filling material.

Inlays or Onlays

Sometimes, a cavity or crack is too big for a filling but not large enough to warrant a crown. In these instances, your dentist may recommend an inlay or onlay. This custom ceramic restoration fits into your tooth like a tiny puzzle piece.


A larger cavity or fracture may require a dental crown. This tooth-shaped “cap” fits over your entire tooth, strengthening it and reducing the risk of further damage.

Root Canal

If bacteria from a cavity or crack invade your tooth pulp, you’ll need a root canal. This procedure removes inflamed nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues inside your tooth. Next, your dentist will clean the inside tooth surfaces, then fill your pulp chamber and root canals with a filling material. In most cases, you’ll also need a crown to protect and strengthen your tooth.


Most dentists prefer to save natural teeth when they can. But sometimes, it’s not possible. If your tooth is badly damaged, you may need a tooth extraction. The dentist will carefully remove your tooth from its socket during this procedure and clean out any infection. Talk to your dentist about replacement options if you need a tooth pulled. Once you’ve healed from your extraction, they can replace it with a dental implant or bridge. They can also make you a temporary tooth to wear until you get your permanent replacement.

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