The Merriam Webster dictionary defines pain as “a localized or generalized unpleasant bodily sensation that causes mild to severe physical discomfort and emotional distress that typically results from a bodily disorder.” True enough, any pain that results from disorders or pathology in the teeth or jaws can cause excessive discomfort and distress. Tooth pain can arise from a variety of issues and may be temporary or long lasting in nature. Here’s a brief description of certain aspects of tooth pain

What are the possible causes of tooth pain?

  • Pain in the teeth can be caused due to a variety of reasons. Some of the common causes of toothache are:


  • Tooth decay

  • Broken teeth / fractured teeth

  • Abscess (Pus accumulation around the teeth due to infection)

  • Gum diseases

  • Excessive clenching/grinding of teeth (Bruxism)

  • Eruption of teeth or impacted teeth

What are the signs of tooth pain?

  • Toothache can be mild/severe, sharp/dull, or constant/intermittent depending on what causes it. Here are a few signs to look out for:


  • Severe pain to hot or cold stimuli

  • Pain in response to pressure

  • Pain that radiates to the cheeks, jaws or ears

  • Headaches

  • Swelling around the gums or teeth

  • Bleeding around the teeth and gums

  • Bad taste in the mouth

  • Pain on chewing

When should you see a dentist?

  • Any tooth pain that hampers your day-to-day activities needs immediate attention. Listed below are certain situations which require professional care:


  • Any pain that lasts for more than 2 days

  • Swelling in the cheeks or jaws

  • Accompanying fever, red gums, or bad taste in the mouth

  • Pain on biting

  • Pain that doesn’t subside with painkillers


  • Any pain that lasts for more than a couple of days after a dental procedure may also require immediate attention.

What can you do at home to alleviate the pain?

  • While it is always advisable to get any kind of tooth pain looked at by a professional, there are a few home remedies which may provide you temporary relief.


  • Avoid hot or cold food till you get the treatment

  • Eat soft foods that are easier to chew

  • Certain over the counter medications like acetaminophen, ibuprofen can help in controlling the pain

  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water

  • Clove oil can also alleviate the pain to a certain extent


  • Remember that pain is ultimately a sign that something is awry with your dental health, so seeking professional help may be the best way to go.

Can there be other causes for tooth pain?

The treatment of dental pain again depends on what has triggered it in the first place. Some common treatments for issues that can potentially cause pain are tabulated below:

Pain from the jaw joints
Muscle relaxants may be prescribed Soft splints/ night guards
Pain from impacted teeth or erupting teeth
Impacted teeth causing tooth pain may be removed
Gum disease
Antibiotics may be prescribed to bring down the infection Scaling of the teeth Draining of any abscess
Tooth decay
Filling or Root Canal treatment depending on the extent of the decay

How will the dentist treat the pain?

At times, an issue that presents in any other part of the body can cause pain in the tooth. This is known as referred pain. Some of the possible reasons for referred pain in the teeth could be cluster headaches or migraines, sinusitis or problems in the adjoining facial muscles and jaw joints.