Toothache – Causes & Treatment Options

February 26, 2024

A toothache can be one of the most uncomfortable and distressing oral health issues, often disrupting daily activities and causing significant discomfort. It’s like having a constant pain in your mouth that won’t go away, making it hard to eat, talk, or even concentrate on anything else. When you have a toothache, it’s essential to understand why it’s happening and what you can do to ease the pain and find relief.

In this blog, we’ll explore the various causes of toothaches and discuss the treatment options available to help you feel better and get back to your normal routine.

Treatment Length


As short as 6 months, with an average of 12 to 18


Average of 12 to 24 or more, depending on the type and severity of malocclusion

Can treatment be expedited?


Wear aligners for 20+hours a day, keep teeth and aligners clean, visit the dentist regularly to monitor progress


Visit the clinic as directed for adjustments, keep teeth and brackets/wires clean and free of plaque, avoid habits that could increase treatment time



Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to gently scrub aligners


Use an interdental toothbrush and water flosser to remove plaque and bacteria from around brackets and wires



Keep teeth and aligners clean for best results


Keep teeth and brackets/wires clean for best results



Yes, aligners are designed to be removed while eating/drinking and while brushing/flossing teeth


No, traditional braces cannot be removed until treatment is complete, and the dentist is the only one that should remove them

Visits to dental clinic


Periodically, you need to visit the dental clinic to monitor your progress


Yes, you will need to visit the clinic every few weeks as teeth shift for adjustments

How much does it cost?


Starts at approximately $1,500 for up to 5 aligners and goes up to around $8,000 for unlimited aligners


Costs an average of $3,000 to $5,000+, depending on several factors



Virtually invisible




Does not require compliance- once braces are attached, they are not removable except by the dentist upon completion of treatment

Ideal for


Mild to moderate malocclusions, can be used for more severe along with attachments, depending on the type of malocclusion


Mild to severe malocclusions

What are the Causes of Toothache?

Toothaches are caused by various dental issues, including:

Tooth decay

Pain can result from cavities that pierce the enamel and enter the tooth’s delicate inner layers.

Gum disease

Inflammation and gum can cause tooth sensitivity and pain.


Tooth abscess

A bacterial infection at the root of your tooth can cause severe throbbing pain.

Tooth fracture

Cracks or fractures in the tooth can expose the nerves, resulting in pain.

Tooth sensitivity

Due to gum recession or worn enamel, exposed tooth roots can cause sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods.

Impacted wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth that don’t fully emerge or are impacted can cause pressure, pain, and swelling in the jaw.

Dental trauma

Injuries to the teeth or jaw from accidents or sports-related incidents can lead to toothaches.

Dental procedures

Sensitivity and discomfort can occur after dental procedures such as fillings, root canals, or extractions.

These are some common causes of toothaches, and it’s crucial to consult a dentist to determine the underlying issue and receive appropriate treatment.

How Long Does a Toothache Last?

There’s no definite timeline for how long a toothache will last since it varies based on the underlying cause. For instance, if it’s due to temporary gum irritation, it might resolve within a day or two. However, if a cavity or abscess causes it, the pain may fluctuate but won’t completely disappear without treatment.

How do Dentists Treat Toothaches?

Dentists check your Toothache by looking at your teeth and asking about your pain. They might take X-rays to see if there are any problems under your gums. Then, they choose the best treatment based on how bad your Toothache is.

Toothache medications

Toothache medications like antibiotics and pain relievers provide temporary relief. They can help alleviate toothache symptoms but won’t address the root cause. While waiting to see your dentist, you can use pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen to lessen pain and discomfort.

Dental fillings

Dentists often suggest dental fillings if you have a small cavity or if a small piece of your tooth breaks off. In this process, the dentist removes any damaged parts of your tooth and fills the space with a durable dental filling material.

Dental Crown

Your dentist may advise a dental crown for a larger cavity or fracture. This tooth-shaped “cap” covers your entire tooth, making it stronger and less prone to additional damage.

Inlays or Onlays

At times, when a cavity or crack is too large for a filling but not extensive enough for a crown, your dentist might suggest an inlay or onlay. These custom ceramic restorations fit into your tooth like small puzzle pieces, offering a precise and durable solution.

Root Canal Therapy

If bacteria from a cavity or crack infect your tooth pulp, a root canal becomes necessary. During this procedure, your dentist removes blood vessels, inflamed nerves, and connective tissues from inside the tooth. Then, they clean the inner surfaces of the tooth before filling the pulp chamber and root canals with a special material. Often, a crown is placed afterward to safeguard and reinforce the tooth.

Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction becomes crucial when a tooth is severely damaged beyond repair. During this procedure, the dentist gently removes the tooth from its socket and ensures that any infection is cleaned out.

After extraction, discuss replacement options with your dentist. Once you’ve healed, they can provide options like a dental bridge or implant. They may also offer a temporary tooth until the permanent replacement is ready.

Are There Home Remedies for Toothaches?

While home remedies can temporarily relieve persistent tooth pain, they require professional dental care. However, for mild discomfort, you can try these remedies:

Saltwater rinse

Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces of hot water. After 30 seconds of swishing the solution around in your mouth, spit it out.

Hydrogen peroxide rinse

Dilute hydrogen peroxide with equal parts water and swish it in your mouth, then spit it out. Do not swallow.

Ice packs

Wrap an ice pack and place it on the outside of your jaw for 20 minutes to reduce pain and inflammation. Repeat as needed throughout the day.

Experience Relief from Toothache Pain at Avery Dental Center, Dublin, Ohio

It’s really important to know the Causes and Treatment options for a toothache. This helps keep your mouth healthy and makes you feel better overall. If you have a toothache, it’s best to see a dentist right away to avoid more problems and keep your smile pain-free. 

For Toothache Troubles, reach out to Avery Dental Center in Dublin, Ohio, at 614-683-9557 for new patients or 614-789-9000 for existing patients. Don’t suffer in silence—schedule your appointment today and get back to a pain-free smile!


Toothaches can often be prevented by practicing good dental hygiene habits, including brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and consulting your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. Avoid sugar-containing foods and drinks, quit smoking, and wear a mouthguard during sports activities to help prevent toothaches.

If you experience a toothache while traveling, try to rinse your mouth with warm water and gently floss around the affected tooth to remove any food particles that may be irritating. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate discomfort temporarily until you can see a dentist. It’s also advisable to carry dental emergency contact information and any necessary medications with you while traveling.

Home remedies like saltwater rinses and hydrogen peroxide rinses and applying ice packs can temporarily relieve mild toothache pain. However, professional dental care is necessary for persistent or severe toothaches.

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