All About Toothaches

A toothache doesn’t seem like a cause to celebrate, but National Toothache Day occurs every year on February 9th. It’s a great day for all of us to remind ourselves of the importance of good oral hygiene, so we can reduce the number of trips needed to the dentist or orthodontist in Melbourne, FL.

What Exactly is a Toothache?

A toothache is exactly what it sounds like: A pain that originates in or around a tooth. If the gums become infected, it can lead to a minor toothache that can often be treated at home. If the toothache is caused by damage to the pulpy interior of the tooth, it is more serious and will require professional treatment. The nerves inside tooth pulp are some of the most tender and sensitive nerves in the body; when those nerves become infected by bacteria, it can lead to extreme pain.

What Causes Toothaches?

  • Abscess – a bacterial infection inside the tooth
  • Broken or cracked tooth
  • Damaged fillings
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum infections
  • Repetitive motions that break down the tooth’s enamel (chewing gum, tooth grinding)


Toothache pain can be sharp or throbbing and intermittent. It can also cause constant pain that just won’t go away. In some cases, the pain only occurs when you bite down on something and put pressure on the affected tooth. The gums around the affected tooth can become swollen. If the toothache is accompanied by a fever or headache, it usually indicates an infection inside of the tooth. Bad breath or a foul-tasting drainage that leaks from the affected tooth are additional signs that the toothache is serious.

Will a Toothache Go Away on Its Own?

Toothache pain that originates around the tooth can sometimes resolve on its own after a few days. If the pain is coming from the root pulp inside the tooth, it will only get worse over time.

Can I Treat a Toothache at Home?

As long as the toothache is being caused by a problem with the gum tissue and not the root pulp, you might be able to treat it at home. Alternate rinsing the mouth a couple of times a day. Do this once with warm saltwater and once with hydrogen peroxide. This will help disinfect the area and reduce inflammation. A cold compress applied to the swollen gums can help with temporary pain relief. Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen and Tylenol can be used to reduce inflammation and pain as well. If the pain is not improving after a couple of days, it’s best to call your dental professional in Melbourne.

How is a Toothache Professionally Treated?

Your treatment will depend on what is causing the problem. Sometimes a cavity can lead to a toothache, especially if it is a deep cavity that exposes the pulp and nerves inside the tooth. Depending on the severity, a simple tooth filling can resolve the problem by filling in the hole. In more severe cases, a tooth extraction may be required.

If the tooth’s nerve has become infected, a root canal procedure may be necessary. This is a dental procedure that removes the infected pulp and replaces it with a sealant. If bacteria are able to make their way inside the tooth to the roots, this can cause an abscess, which leads to the most serious type of toothache.

If an infection inside the tooth is present, your dental professional will likely prescribe a course of antibiotics to defeat it. This is especially true if you have developed a fever or severe swelling. A deep cleaning might also be recommended by your dental professional. Note that depending on the severity of a toothache, you might be referred to an endodontist or other professional to help treat the problem.

Melbourne Orthodontics Encourages Good Oral Hygiene

Taking good care of your teeth through regular brushing and flossing, as well as visits to your dentist and orthodontist in Melbourne, FL is the best way to prevent a toothache. Any toothache that lasts for more than two days should be enough reason to call your dental professional for an appointment. Melbourne Orthodontics specializes in orthodontics however, we also need to make sure your oral health is top-notch!