Toothache - Remedy, Causes & Symptoms

If you’ve been trying to eat or drink and suddenly feel a mild twinge in your teeth or sharp tooth pain, you may be suffering from toothache. Toothache after eating can also be the result of food particles....

If you’ve been trying to eat or drink and suddenly feel a mild twinge in your teeth or sharp tooth pain, you may be suffering from toothache.

Toothache after eating can also be the result of food particles stuck in between your teeth so rinsing your mouth thoroughly and flossing may remedy your toothache.

This uncomfortable experience of a toothache may come and go but that doesn’t mean you should forget about it. The feeling of sensitivity and tooth pain is generally a symptom of an underlying issue with your teeth so you should always mention it to your dental professional.

Toothache Symptoms

If you’re experiencing any severe toothache symptoms you should always consult a dental professional.

Tooth Pain

The most common symptom of a toothache is severe tooth pain as you bite into food or when you touch your tooth. This will be a similar feeling to the pain of a broken tooth.

Gum Swelling

Another common sign and symptom of a toothache is a red and inflamed appearance to your gums or a swollen feeling in your jaw.

Tooth Pain with Fever

A temperature of 38°C or above and a feverish feeling may be present alongside tooth pain so take note if these two symptoms come on simultaneously as it may be indicative of a viral or bacterial infection.

What Causes Toothaches?

There is a range of underlying causes of toothache that may lead to discomfort in your teeth. If you can’t discern the reason for your ache from the sensation, a dentist can help you identify the cause.

Tooth Decay

The main reason for toothache is generally tooth decay. If your protective layer of enamel is damaged, this will leave your teeth feeling a lot more sensitive and they may ache.

Abscessed tooth

If you experience tooth abscess pain it will appear as a throbbing toothache that can also spread outwards to your jaw or neck. It may also be accompanied by symptoms such as feverishness, swollen lymph nodes, and swollen gums.

At the centre of your teeth, a mixture of nerves and blood vessels form a pulp. If this is infected or damaged it will quickly cause toothache and should be treated by a dentist immediately.

Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

If you wake up with an achy jaw and a sore head you may wonder can toothache cause a headache? If you are experiencing bruxism and teeth grinding then you may feel this mixture of symptoms.

Gum Infection

The main cause of gum pain is gingivitis and if it is left untreated it may develop into periodontitis, so you should always report these early symptoms to your dental professional.

Teeth Sensitivity

If you feel a particularly sharp pain when you eat or drink hot or cold foods and liquids, you may have particularly sensitive teeth. If this fits your symptoms then you may need to use a specialised antisensitivity toothpaste. Teeth sensitivity can also be a result of erosion, where the enamel has been worn away due to excessive consumption of dietary acids like sodas and certain acidic foods. Anti erosion toothpastes help protect the tooth against enamel wear but what is lost is lost. Consult your dentist if you notice signs and symptoms of teeth erosion.

It’s also more likely to have a toothache after a filling as your teeth will be more sensitive for the next couple of days after the procedure. If this ache lasts for several days this could be an issue with the filling or your tooth, so consult with your dentist.

Teeth Damage

Finally, a chipped or broken tooth can often be an underlying cause of toothache. If you have recently had some kind of trauma and damage to a tooth then this could be the reason for your toothache.

How to get rid of a Toothache

If your toothache is not related to recent surgery or another reason such as grinding your teeth, there are several home remedies for relief from a toothache that will help keep your teeth and gums healthy and ache-free.

If you are looking for rapid toothache pain relief, ibuprofen and aspirin may help. You should also ensure to avoid any particularly hard or chewy food until you have investigated the causes of your toothache.

Toothache Remedies at Home

Saltwater rinse

As tooth decay can cause pain in your teeth, one preventative remedy for toothache is to use a saltwater rinse as this naturally disinfects your mouth and frees trapped food debris that may cause decay.

Additionally, incorporating a mouthwashrinse into your dental hygiene routine helps to avoid food debris from getting stuck in your mouth and reduces your risk of toothache.

Clove oil

Clove oil contains eugenol, which is a naturally occurring antiseptic. If you apply a small quantity of clove oil to your toothache with a piece of cotton bud it should numb your tooth pain and bring the inflammation down.


Garlic is another natural remedy that can eliminate the unpleasant bacteria that leads to plaque. For this reason, using garlic for toothache prevention can help relieve pain. Try crushing a clove of garlic and using this paste on the aching area.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal draws foreign bacteria and agents out from around your teeth. You can purchase activated charcoal in a powder or mix it with water to form a paste.

Cold Compress

Finally, the hot sensation of a toothache can be effectively relieved with a cold compress held against your cheek. In terms of how to apply a cold compress, put the cold cloth against your cheek for several minutes at a time, and repeat to see if this calms your toothache symptoms.

One tip to bear in mind is to avoid applying it directly to your tooth as it will likely be too uncomfortable due to increased sensitivity.

When to see the Dentist?

If you’re wondering when to see a dentist for tooth pain, you should make an appointment if the sensation has lasted for two days or more. You should also be sure to contact a dental professional if traditional pain relief, such as ibuprofen, aren’t effective and you are experiencing a fever or signs of an infection.

Additionally, if your toothache is felt towards the back of your mouth, you should be aware of when to see a dentist for wisdom tooth pain. If you experience acute pain in your wisdom teeth when chewing or brushing, you should visit a dental professional to see if this is linked to decay or gum disease. For wisdom teeth pain relief, methods such as a cold compress, painkillers, and clove oil may be helpful.