Book an Appointment

Toothache: Causes, Treatment And Remedies

Written by Dr. Rodi Dirki | Medically reviewed by Editorial Team
Last updated on: April 25, 2024

Few pains are as discomforting and persistent as a toothache. From mild twinges to throbbing agony, toothaches can vary in intensity and cause significant distress. Understanding the causes, types, and treatment for dental pain  is essential for effectively managing and relieving this common dental issue. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore what exactly a toothache is, its various types, underlying causes, relief options, professional treatments, prevention strategies, and address frequently asked questions to help you navigate through dental discomfort with ease.

What is a toothache? 

A toothache refers to pain or discomfort in or around a tooth. This pain can range from mild to severe and may be constant or intermittent. Toothaches can result from various factors, including dental decay, infection, injury, or underlying oral health issues.

Types of toothaches? 

- Pulpitis: Inflammation of the dental pulp, the innermost layer of the tooth, typically caused by untreated dental decay or trauma.

- Dental Abscess: A pocket of pus caused by a bacterial infection, usually originating from a severe cavity or gum disease.

- Dental Fracture: A crack or break in the tooth structure, which can expose the sensitive inner layers and lead to pain and sensitivity.

- Gum Disease: Inflammation of the gums, which can cause pain, swelling, and tenderness around the affected teeth.

Causes of Toothache? 

Several factors can contribute to the development of a toothache, including:

- Dental Decay: The most common cause of toothaches, dental decay occurs when bacteria erode the tooth enamel, leading to cavities and sensitivity.

- Dental Infection: Infections in the tooth pulp or surrounding tissues can cause inflammation and pain.

- Gum Disease: Periodontal disease can lead to gum recession, exposing the tooth roots and increasing sensitivity and discomfort.

- Dental Trauma: Accidents or injuries to the mouth can cause fractures, chips, or dislodgement of teeth, resulting in pain and discomfort.

- Bruxism: Clenching or grinding the teeth, often during sleep, can lead to tooth sensitivity and pain.

- Impacted Wisdom Teeth: Wisdom teeth that fail to erupt properly can become impacted, leading to pain, swelling, and infection.

How long does a toothache last? 

The duration of a toothache can vary depending on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. While some toothaches may resolve on their own within a few days, others may persist or worsen without treatment. It's essential to address tooth pain promptly to prevent complications and alleviate discomfort.

Toothache Relief 

Relieving toothache pain often involves addressing the underlying cause. Some common methods of tooth or dental pain relief include:

- Over-the-counter Pain Relievers: Non-prescription pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate mild to moderate toothache pain.

- Topical Analgesics: Applying numbing gels or clove oil directly to the affected tooth or gums can provide temporary relief from dental pain and discomfort.

- Cold Compress: Applying a cold compress to the outside of the cheek can help reduce swelling and numb the area, providing relief from toothache pain.

Home remedies for toothaches:  

In addition to over-the-counter remedies, several home remedies may help alleviate toothache pain temporarily:

- Saltwater Rinse: Gargling with warm salt water can help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria, providing relief from toothache pain.

- Garlic: Chewing on a clove of garlic or applying garlic paste to the affected tooth can help reduce pain and fight infection due to its antimicrobial properties.

- Peppermint Tea: Drinking peppermint tea or applying a cooled peppermint tea bag to the affected area can help numb the pain and reduce inflammation.

- Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse: Diluting hydrogen peroxide with water and swishing it around the mouth can help kill bacteria and alleviate toothache pain.

Professional Treatment for Toothache  

While home remedies and over-the-counter medications may provide temporary relief, professional treatment for dental pain is often necessary to address the underlying cause of a toothache. Some common treatments for toothaches include:

- Dental Fillings: For toothaches caused by cavities, dental fillings may be necessary to remove decayed tissue and restore the tooth's structure.

- Root Canal Therapy: In cases of severe pulpitis or dental infection, root canal therapy may be required to remove infected tissue, disinfect the root canal, and seal the tooth to prevent further damage.

- Tooth Extraction: In cases of extensive decay or damage, extraction may be necessary to remove the affected tooth and prevent the spread of infection.

- Antibiotics: For toothaches caused by bacterial infections, antibiotics may be prescribed to help eliminate the infection and reduce inflammation


Toothaches can range from mild discomfort to debilitating pain, impacting daily activities and overall quality of life. Understanding the causes, types, and orthodontic treatment options for toothaches is essential for effectively managing and alleviating dental discomfort. Whether through home remedies, over-the-counter medications, or professional dental treatments, tooth pain relief is achievable with prompt and appropriate care. By maintaining good oral hygiene practices, attending regular dental check-ups, and seeking timely treatment for any dental issues, you can minimize the risk of developing toothaches and maintain optimal oral health.
If you are experiencing toothaches, contact the Skin111 clinic in Dubai. We offer comprehensive dental care solutions, including Zoom teeth whitening, dental implants, dental veneers, Invisalign treatment, and more.

Toothache: FAQs

Can a toothache go away on its own? 

While some mild toothaches may resolve on their own, persistent or severe toothaches often require professional dental treatment to address the underlying cause.

How can you tell what kind of toothache you have?

A thorough dental examination by a dentist is necessary to determine the cause of a toothache and recommend appropriate treatment options.

When Should I See a Dentist About a Toothache?

It’s essential to see a dentist as soon as possible if you experience persistent or severe toothache pain, as it may indicate a serious underlying dental issue that requires prompt attention.

What Happens When I Go to the Dentist for a Toothache?

During a dental appointment for a toothache, the dentist will perform a thorough examination, including X-rays, if necessary, to diagnose the cause of the toothache and recommend appropriate treatment.

What Treatments Are Available for a Toothache? 

Treatment options for a toothache may include dental fillings, root canal therapy, tooth extraction, or antibiotics, depending on the underlying cause of the pain.

How Can Toothaches Be Prevented? 

Practicing good oral hygiene habits, including brushing twice daily, flossing regularly, and attending regular dental check-ups, can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues that may lead to toothaches. Additionally, avoiding sugary foods and beverages, quitting smoking, and wearing a mouthguard to protect against dental trauma can help reduce the risk of developing toothaches. Our expert dental team at SKIN111 are ready to assist you for all your dental requirements.

Book an Appointment