What is Toothache?

Toothache , also known as odontalgia or, less frequently, as odontalgy , usually refers to pain or soreness around the teeth or jaws. In most instances, toothaches are caused by tooth or jaw problems, such as a dental cavity, a cracked tooth, an exposed tooth root, gum disease, disease of the jaw joint (tempore- mandible joint), or spasms of the muscles used for chewing.

The severity of a toothache can range from chronic and mild to sharp and excruciating. The pain may be aggravated by chewing or by cold or heat. A thorough oral examination, which includes dental x-rays, can help determine the cause, whether the toothache is coming from a tooth or jaw problem.

Generally a toothache happens if tooth decay penetrated the pulp chamber or is very close to it, which contains the nerves and tiny blood vessels. Ideally for a toothache is to undergo a dental treatment at once.

What are the causes of Toothache?

Cavities get their start from plaque that sticks to the surface of a tooth and provides food for bacteria. The bacteria and certain acids break through the enamel surface of the tooth, forming a hole that fills with decayed matter. The decay then spreads to the inside of the tooth.

Common dental causes of toothache include dental cavities , dental abscess, gum disease , irritation of the tooth root, cracked tooth syndrome, temporomandibular disease, impaction, and eruption.

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What are the symptoms of Toothache?

Some common symptoms noticed while toothache are-

  • Pain with chewing.
  • Hot or cold sensitivity.
  • Bleeding or discharge from around a tooth or gums.
  • Swelling around a tooth or swelling of your jaw.
  • Injury or trauma to the area.
  • These signs and symptoms may sometimes be associated with dental decay or gum disease (periodontal disease) . Dental decay or an area of redness around the tooth’s gum line may point to the source of pain. If you tap an infected tooth, it may make the pain more intense. This sign may point to the problem tooth even if the tooth appears normal.
  • A toothache needs to be differentiated from other sources of pain in the face. Sinusitis , ear or throat pain, or an injury to the  temporomandibular joint  ( TMJ ) that attaches the jaw to the skull may be confused with toothache. Pain from a deeper structure (called referred pain) may be passed along the nerve and be felt in the jaw or tooth. In order to pinpoint the source of the pain and get relief, call your dentist or doctor.

What treatment can be done for Toothache?

Treatment may include:

Antibiotics by mouth may be prescribed.

Pain medications may be prescribed.

Warm salt water rinses to the mouth.

Tooth extraction (full or partial removal).

Draining of an abscess, if present.

Root canal – a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the damaged nerve and tissue from the middle of the tooth.

If the infection is severe, the child may need to be treated in the hospital and receive antibiotics through an intravenous (IV) catheter.