Toothache And Dental Pain: What Causes It And What Can Help

As the title infers, we’ve put together a complete guide to toothache and dental pain for you. It’s important to note that there are various other dental problems that can manifest as toothache, and these will be included in this guide (although some of them are not strictly ‘tooth-aches’).

This page will touch on the various elements of dental pain, but for more in-depth information we have individual pages, to which we will direct you.


What is Toothache?

Specifically, toothache of course refers to pain originating from your teeth. This section of the site will also cover other causes of oral pain, many of which can mimic ‘proper’ toothache.  As well as arising from the dentition, symptoms may arise from the gums, the jaw and the sinus areas.  The nature of the symptoms will often vary and this is useful in determining the cause of the problem.

The graphic below displays some of the common triggers.

"Graphic showing the common causes of toothache"

As you can see, some of the usual suspects include (with links to relevant pages):

For much more in-depth detail on causes and types of toothache.



You really need to go to the dentist if you have a problem (see the reasons why listed below). Don’t ignore it and hope it will disappear.

But what can you do while waiting to see the dentist? Does clove oil work? What are some useful home remedies and cures? What medication should you take, what medicine won’t work? … We have a full list of do’s and dont’s for toothache relief here.



Why it is important to visit the dentist if in pain

Afraid of visiting the dentist?  Rather wait and hope the problem just goes away? There are many reasons why this is not a good idea. Here are a few:

  • The days of mouth pain automatically resulting in a dental extraction are long gone. There are a variety of ways in which previously ‘doomed’ teeth can now be saved. However if you leave it for too long, a diseased tooth may be rendered unfixable!
  • Usually the sooner you attend with your problem, the easier for all concerned to get it fixed.
  • Delaying attendance can result in more treatment being necessary in the long term, with increased costs.
  • If you are afraid of visiting the dentist, there are a variety of sedation techniques available. Dentistry is now relatively pain-free. If you have avoided attending for many years you are likely to be pleasantly surprised by modern treatment and techniques.
  • In some rare cases, oral symptoms a sign of a serious health problem. Rarely, pain around the mouth can be due to a serious health problem such as a heart attack or a stroke. For example, pain in the left jaw area may be an early sign of a heart attack.
"Tooth decay above mirror"

Get to your dentist for treatment before things get as bad as this molar!

Typical treatments include fillings, root canal or extraction. What is needed depends on how badly diseased the tooth (or gum)  is. We will give you a run through of the common toothache treatment options here.


Prevention of Toothaches

Last, but not least is prevention. As you have read, here are many different causes of the problem.  Most are avoidable in the long-term by following basic dental care advice:

  • Eat a healthy diet low in sugars and avoid snacking between meals.
  • Keep your teeth clean by brushing and flossing twice a day.  Use fluoride toothpaste.
  • Visit the dentist regularly for check-ups. This will allow the dentist to identify any problems long before they have the potential to cause symptoms. Regular visits may, for example, result in a small filling as opposed to a severe ache and a tooth extraction if a cavity is not found early.



The main points to remember with toothache are these:

  • Don’t ignore the problem! Get to your dentist!
  • Stick to the recommended dose of any pain-relief medication.
  • If the toothache is caused by a preventable problem, such as tooth decay, find out what you need to change in order to prevent further problems.


Woman in pain with toothache

Further Reading: 

Use the links above or click on the following for further advice

Causes of tooth pain

How to get relief

Treatment advice


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