The 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.
If 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 continuous.
• 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.
It 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 opposite jaw.
can toothache be avoided?
The 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.
Brush your teeth
twice daily using a toothpaste containing
fluoride. To get the most benefit
from the fluoride, do not rinse
the toothpaste away after brushing.
Clean 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 more
should I do if I have toothache?
If you have toothache,
seek immediate advice from your
dentist before the problem becomes
Pulpitis 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