Pain Relief

A toothache is pain in or around a tooth that may be caused by:

  • Tooth decay
  • Abscessed tooth
  • Tooth fracture
  • A damaged filling
  • Trauma to the tooth including injury or grinding your teeth
  • Infected gums
  • Sinus infection that can be felt as pain in the teeth

Symptoms of a toothache may include:

  • Tooth pain that may be sharp, throbbing, deep dull ache, heavy, gnawing pressure.
  • It may be exacerbated by drinking hot or cold beverages or only when pressure is applied on the tooth or both. The pain may come and go or it might be constant.
  • Swelling around the tooth
  • Fever or headache
  • Foul-tasting drainage from the infected tooth
  • Many times pain-killers are not effective enough to relieve the pain.

When should you see me about a toothache?

See your dentist as soon as ANY unusual symptoms arise on your tooth.


  • You have a classical toothache
  • Your toothache is severe
  • You have a fever, earache, or swelling

If a toothache is not professionally dealt with early, an infection can arise that can spread to other parts of the face and skull and possibly even to the bloodstream, potentially causing a life-threatening situation.

What treatments are available for a toothache?

Treatment for a toothache depends on the cause.

If a cavity is causing the toothache, the decay must be removed and an appropriate restoration placed. If the decay has compromised a large portion of the tooth an extraction might be the best solution.

A root canal therapy might be needed if the cause of the toothache is determined to be an infection that has entered into the tooth’s nerve. A large carious lesion (decay) that has not been treated by a dentist simply continues to grow and eventually infects the dental nerve.

An antibiotic may be prescribed if there is fever or swelling of the jaw.

What happens when I go to the dentist with a toothache?

  1. It is imperative that we obtain a thorough medical history before investigating on the source of the pain.
  2. Some questions relating to the toothache may include, when the pain started, how severe it is, where the pain is located, what makes the pain worse, and what makes it better.
  3. An examination is carried out which involves your mouth, teeth, gums, jaws, tongue, throat, sinuses, ears, nose, and neck.
  4. X-rays help us diagnose the problem as well as conducting other tests.
  5. Local anaesthetic is very effective in eliminating the pain prior to treating it. 

How can toothaches be prevented?

Most toothaches are the result of tooth decay.

Good oral hygiene practices can prevent toothaches.

Good oral hygiene practices consist of:

  1. avoiding sugary foods and beverages,
  2. brushing regularly with a fluoride-containing toothpaste,
  3. flossing daily,
  4. seeing your dentist every 6 months for professional check-ups and cleans.
Suite 11/40-42 Montgomery St
Kogarah NSW 2217

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F: (02) 9588 2288
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