Toothache 101

why do I get toothache?

The Dentist’s Guide to Root Canal Treatment​
Toothaches: Causes, Treatment, And Prevention

(How) Toothaches: Causes, Treatment, And Prevention

17 Aug 2022

A toothache can be extremely painful. Next to earaches and kidney stones, tooth pain can feel impossible to manage without the help of a professional.


Understanding what causes toothaches and how they should be treated can keep the pain from coming back over and over again.

Common Causes of Toothaches

Most toothaches are due to some type of infection or trauma that’s stimulating the nerve inside of your tooth. Teeth are extremely sensitive, so something as thin as a hairline fracture can cause pain. On the other hand, it isn’t uncommon to occasionally not experience any symptoms of discomfort from large cavities or abscesses.


The severity and frequency of your toothache, along with what’s causing it (such as pressure or certain foods) can help determine the underlying cause. Our dentists will want to take a small X-ray of the tooth that’s hurting to rule out each of the following common causes of tooth pain:


  • Teeth clenching and grinding
  • TMJ disorder
  • Cavities
  • Cracked teeth
  • Dental abscesses
  • Food lodged under gums or between teeth
  • Structural trauma to the tooth root


NOTE: One common cause of toothaches isn’t tooth-related at all. Chronic sinus infections or seasonal allergies can sometimes cause referred pain in upper back teeth (molars) whose roots rest alongside the sinuses.

Toothaches: Causes, Treatment, And Prevention

Depending on the cause of your toothache, treatments may include:


Gum Treatment—If the discomfort is because of chronic periodontal disease, a series of deep cleans will remove the bacteria responsible for your oral infection.


Dental Fillings or Crowns—Areas of tooth decay will need to be re-built with a strong restoration—such as a tooth-coloured filling or dental crown—to stabilise the tooth and prevent additional damage.


Nerve Treatment—Endodontic therapy (root canals) removes the nerve tissues in the centre of a tooth, which are responsible for severe toothaches related to deep cavities or abscesses.


Removing the Tooth—When a tooth is too damaged to repair, the best option is to remove it altogether. This step will prevent the spread of disease or infection to adjacent teeth.


Prescribing Medication—Antibiotics can help clear up swelling before a permanent treatment like nerve therapy, improving your comfort during the procedure.

How to Prevent Toothaches Before They Start

Regular preventative care checkups can help you keep your smile on track between visits. During your six-monthly exam and clean, we’ll identify any areas that may be at risk for infection or tooth decay. That way you can reverse issues when possible or intercept them with more conservative treatment.

Know When to See a Dentist

If you have tooth pain that lasts for more than a day or it keeps coming back, it’s time to see a dentist. Ideally, you want to have the tooth checked before the cause of your toothache has a chance to get any worse (keeping treatment to a minimum.)

Our emergency dentists in Sydney and Five Dock offer fast pain relief and new patients are always welcome. Contact Smile Concepts today to request an appointment.

Toothaches: Causes, Treatment, And Prevention

Emergency Dentist Sydney

Contact Smile Concepts today to be looked after by dental professionals with more than 30 years of combined experience located in the heart of Sydney.

How Much Does A Porcelain Veneer Cost In Australia? (Financial Options & Alternatives)
How to Know If You Have Gum Disease


Unlock Your Dream Smile.

Discover The Power of A Smile

Got missing teeth? Find out what is the best option for replacing missing teeth with no pain.

Straighten teeth with Invisalign® and start smiling with confidence within months.

What are natural looking Porcelain Veneers? It’s where Artistry meets Functionality.

Dr Manish Shah

Dr. Manish Shah is a cosmetic dentist with a special interest in porcelain veneers, dental implants and Invisalign in Sydney. He is also a medical doctor with an expertise in sleep & craniofacial pain medicine practising at Smile Concepts.