most common cause of toothache,
or pain in the region of the jaws
and face, is pulpitis - inflammation
of the pulp of the tooth. The short,
sharp pains usually occur in response
to hot, cold or sweet stimuli.
left untreated, the pulp dies and
becomes infected, leading to the
formation of a dental abscess. The
pain from a dental abscess tends
to be in response to pressure on
the tooth, and is throbbing and
• A fracture of the tooth.
• A cracked tooth. This may
be invisible and so can be difficult
• Irritation of the pulp following
dental treatment. Regardless of
how well it is done, dental treatment
and the materials used to fill the
tooth can sometimes cause pain later.
• An exposed tooth root, which
can occur if the gums recede or
are damaged by over-vigorous brushing.
The following problems can also
cause symptoms similar to toothache,
even though the teeth themselves
may be free of disease:
• an abscess in the gum (lateral
• ulceration of the gums (acute
• ulceration of the soft tissues
can sometimes be mistaken for toothache.
• inflammation of the gum
around a tooth which is in the process
of growing/breaking through (pericoronitis).
• inflammation of the sinuses
(sinusitis) can be mistaken for
toothache in the upper jaw.
Several other conditions may also
cause pain in the mouth - always
seek advice from your dentist if
you have toothache.
is worth remembering that the nerves
supplying the teeth sometimes give
the wrong message to the brain.
This means that, although you feel
pain in a particular tooth, the
problem may actually be in a different
tooth - even one located in the
can toothache be avoided?
best way to prevent toothache is
to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Try to avoid cavities by reducing
your intake of sugary foods and
drinks - have them as an occasional
treat, and at mealtimes only.
your teeth twice daily using a toothpaste
containing fluoride. To get the
most benefit from the fluoride,
do not rinse the toothpaste away
between your teeth using dental
floss, woodsticks or an inter-dental
brush according to your dentist's
advice. Visit your dentist regularly.
This way, problems can be diagnosed
early and your treatment will be
should I do if I have toothache?
you have toothache, seek immediate
advice from your dentist before
the problem becomes severe.
is often reversible and, once your
dentist has identified and treated
the problem (usually with a simple
filling), the toothache will disappear.
A dental abscess will require extraction
of the tooth or a more complicated
filling (root canal treatment )
if the tooth is to be saved.
the following advice may be helpful
until you are able to see your dentist:
• avoid hot, cold or sweet
stimuli. This will help prevent
pain from pulpitis.
• if the pain is prolonged
and severe, painkillers such as
ibuprofen (eg Nurofen) may provide
some relief. Remember even if the
pain goes away, without treatment
it will eventually become worse.
• if the pain is caused by
exposed root surfaces, toothpaste
for sensitive teeth, either used
normally or rubbed onto the exposed
root, may be helpful.
• a hot saltwater mouthwash
(a teaspoon of salt to a cup of
water) used to thoroughly rinse
the painful area may help if the
problem is caused by a tooth erupting.
• a saltwater mouthwash can
also prevent infection if you have
• visit your dentist as soon
as possible. This way any treatment
will be simple.
you require any more information
on EMERGENCY DENTISTRY IN
SYDNEY please do not hesitate
to contact us