Fix Tooth Pain & Toothache

There are a number of underlying problems that could present as a general toothache. Occasional sensitivity is not uncommon and usually resolves itself in a few days but persistent, dull aches or sharp pains when eating could be a sign of something more serious. In this section, we will review some dental issues that can present as a toothache as well as treatment options.

Periodontal Disease

Gum disease can be caused by poor oral hygiene, genetics, smoking, and even some medications. It can cause a great deal of sensitivity and discomfort and left untreated, gingivitis and periodontitis can eventually lead to tooth loss.

If your periodontal disease is too extensive for treatment at your regular dental office, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist for a treatment. If your dentist believes they can treat you in office, they may recommend a deep cleaning, or scaling and root planing. For a scaling and root planing, your dental hygienist will administer a local anesthetic which will allow them to reach well below the gum line to clear out any infection in the gum pocket. This is usually completed in two visits, one side of the mouth at a time.

Tooth Decay

Cavity causing bacteria can hide in hard to reach places of your teeth and gums and eat away and tooth enamel. Your dentist can remove the decay and repair the tooth with tooth-colored composite material.


A damaged tooth that is not treated in a timely manner can allow bacteria to enter inside the tooth and cause an infection and inflammation in the pulp of the tooth. If the pulp of a tooth dies, it can create a pocket of bacteria and pus under the gum. Your dentist can treat an abscess by draining the area and prescribing antibiotics to kill the infection. You may also be advised to undergo root canal treatment.


A lot of patients unconsciously clench and grind their teeth, especially during sleep, which is called bruxism. This can cause a number of problems including:

  • Discomfort in the teeth, gums, and jaw
  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Gum recession
  • Sensitivity to temperatures and sugars

A night guard worn while you sleep is usually the treatment for bruxism.

Tooth Fracture

A tooth can become fractured during an accident or injury and can allow food particles and bacteria to get into the tooth and cause an infection in the tooth pulp.

A fractured tooth can usually be saved using dental glue or by restoring the tooth with a filling or a crown.

Old or Damaged Dental Restorations

Dental fillings and crowns can chip, crack, or even fall out over time just due to normal wear and tear. Even though crowns and veneers are fabricated using porcelain, they can still become damaged. Your dentist will likely advise replacing damaged or worn restorations.

If you experience a toothache accompanied by fever, swelling or red gums, pain that lasts longer than a day, a bad taste in your mouth, or if a tooth has become broken or fallen out, it is important that you see your dentist as soon as possible.

More on Fixing Teeth : Fix Cracked Teeth

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