A toothache is pain on or around a tooth. It may have a variety of causes, including a cavity, abscess, or even sinusitis. Toothache symptoms include pain, headache, earache, bad taste in the mouth, and gum swelling. Dental X-rays and other tests performed by a dentist are used to diagnose the cause of a toothache. Toothache treatment depends on the underlying cause. Taking proper care of the teeth and gums can help prevent toothache. Read more: Toothache Article
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Related Disease Conditions
Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)
Sinus infection (sinusitis) is caused by allergies, infection, and chemicals or other irritants of sinuses. Signs and symptoms are headache, fever, and facial tenderness, pressure, or pain. Treatments of sinus infections are generally with antibiotics and at times, home remedies.
Headaches can be divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches are considered primary headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by disease. Headache symptoms vary with the headache type. Over-the-counter pain relievers provide short-term relief for most headaches.
Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome is a disorder that causes symptoms like pain, clicking, and popping of the jaw. TMJ is caused by injury to the temporomandibular joint. Stress, poor posture, jaw trauma, genetic predisposition, and inflammatory disorders are risk factors for the condition. A variety of self-care measures (application of ice, use of over-the-counter pain medication, massage, relaxation techniques) and medical treatment options (dental splint, Botox, prescription medications, surgery) are available to manage TMJ. The prognosis of TMJ is good with proper treatment.
Thrush (Oral Candidiasis)
Thrush is an infection of the mouth caused by the Candida fungus. Symptoms of thrush include pain or difficulty swallowing, a feeling that food gets stuck in the throat, and fever.
Muscle spasms are involuntary muscle contractions that come on suddenly and are usually quite painful. Dehydration, doing strenuous exercise in a hot environment, prolonged muscle use, and certain diseases of the nervous system may cause muscle spasms. Symptoms and signs of a muscle spasm include an acute onset of pain and a possible bulge seen or felt beneath the skin where the muscle is located. Gently stretching the muscle usually resolves a muscle spasm.
Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are referred to as type 1 (insulin dependent) and type 2 (non-insulin dependent). Symptoms of diabetes include increased urine output, thirst, hunger, and fatigue. Treatment of diabetes depends on the type.
Middle Ear Infection (Otitis Media)
Middle ear infection (otitis media) is inflammation of the middle ear. There are two forms of this type of ear infection, acute and chronic. Acute otitis media is generally short in duration, and chronic otitis media generally lasts several weeks. Babies, toddlers, and children with a middle ear infection may be irritable, pull and tug at their ears, and experience numerous other symptoms and signs. Treatment depends upon the type of ear infection.
Pericoronitis is inflammation of the gum tissue around the molars. Pericoronitis commonly occurs in teens or young people when the wisdom teeth erupt. Symptoms include pain, swelling, swollen lymph nodes, and difficulty opening the mouth. Pericoronitis can be diagnosed by a dentist and is treated with pain medication. Severe cases may be treated with surgery.
Pregnancy (Week by Week, Trimesters)
Signs and symptoms of pregnancy vary by stage (trimester). The earliest pregnancy symptom is typically a missed period, but others include breast swelling and tenderness, nausea and sometimes vomiting, fatigue, and bloating. Second trimester symptoms include backache, weight gain, itching, and possible stretch marks. Third trimester symptoms are additional weight gain, heartburn, hemorrhoids, swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face, breast tenderness, and trouble sleeping. Eating a healthy diet, getting a moderate amount of exercise, also are recommended for a healthy pregnancy. Information about the week by week growth of your baby in the womb are provided.
Gum Disease (Gingivitis)
Gum disease is caused by plaque and may result in tooth loss without proper treatment. Symptoms and signs of gum disease (gingivitis or periodontal disease) include receding gums, bad breath and pocket formation between the teeth and gums. Treatment depends upon the stage of the gum disease, how you responded to earlier treatments, and your overall health.
Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)
Cyclic vomiting syndrome is a condition in which affected individuals have severe nausea and vomiting that come in cycles. Researchers believe that cyclic vomiting syndrome and migraine headaches are related. Triggers of cyclic vomiting syndrome are emotional stress and infections. People with cyclic vomiting syndrome are at an increased risk of dehydration. Cyclic vomiting syndrome is difficult to diagnose. Treatment varies from person to person, but is generally directed toward relief of the symptoms of the condition.
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that people get in their late teens or early twenties. Impacted wisdom teeth that only partially erupt allows for an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection, which results in pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, and general illness. Before your wisdom teeth are pulled, the teeth and the surrounding tissue will be numbed with a local anesthetic. Recovery from wisdom tooth removal depends upon the difficulty of the extraction.
An abscessed tooth is an infection within a tooth that has spread to the root. Symptoms of an abscessed tooth may include pain, swelling, tenderness, redness, and the presence of a pus-filled lesion on the gum. A dental professional diagnoses an abscessed tooth and dental X-rays may be required. An abscessed tooth is treated with a root canal.
Gum problems may be caused by improper brushing and flossing, gum disease, canker sores, treatments and hormonal changes. Symptoms of gum problems include red, swollen, sore and bleeding gums. These symptoms can be prevented by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, eating a well-balanced diet, drinking enough water, not smoking, and relaxing.
Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However, over-stress, can be harmful. There is now speculation, as well as some evidence, that points to the abnormal stress responses as being involved in causing various diseases or conditions.
Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)
A heart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart attack can cause chest pain, heart failure, and electrical instability of the heart.
Angina is chest pain due to inadequate blood supply to the heart. Angina symptoms may include chest tightness, burning, squeezing, and aching. Coronary artery disease is the main cause of angina but there are other causes. Angina is diagnosed by taking the patient's medical history and performing tests such as an electrocardiogram (EKG), blood test, stress test, echocardiogram, cardiac CT scan, and heart catheterization. Treatment of angina usually includes lifestyle modification, medication, and sometimes, surgery. The risk of angina can be reduced by following a heart healthy lifestyle.
Cocaine and Crack Addiction
Cocaine is an addictive stimulant that is smoked, snorted, and injected. Crack is cocaine that comes in a rock crystal that is heated to form vapors, which are then smoked. Cocaine has various effects on the body, including dilating pupils, constricting blood vessels, increasing body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.
Stress Management Techniques
Stress may be considered as any physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental unrest and that may be a factor in disease causation. Managing stress in our lives is important. Elimination of stress is unrealistic, since stress is a part of normal life. We can however, learn to manage stress through techniques such as exercise, relaxation, meditation, time management, and support systems so that we have control over our stress and its effects on our physical and mental health.
Mercury is a naturally occurring element found in water, soil, and the air. Mercury also is contained in some fish, some of the products we use in the home, school, or dentist. Mercury poisoning can cause cognitive problems, dermatitis, tremor and other symptoms. Information about sources of mercury exposure, potential health effects, symptoms of exposure, fish that may contain mercury, consumer products that contain mercury, and ways to reduce your exposure to mercury is important for the health of you, and your family.
Pain management and treatment can be simple or complex, according to its cause. There are two basic types of pain, nociceptive pain and neuropathic pain. Some causes of neuropathic pain include: complex regional pain syndrome, interstitial cystitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. There are a variety of methods to treat chronic pain, which are dependant on the type of pain experienced.
The term oral cancer includes cancer of the mouth (oral cavity) and the back of the mouth (oropharynx). Red and white patches inside the mouth, bleeding, loose teeth, pain upon swallowing, a lump in the neck, earache, and a sore on your lip or in your mouth that won't heal are all symptoms of oral cancer. Treatment for oral cancer depends upon the staging of the disease and usually involves surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
Smoking (How to Quit Smoking)
Smoking is an addiction. More than 430,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. from smoking related illnesses. Secondhand smoke or "passive smoke" also harm family members, coworkers, and others around smokers. There are a number of techniques available to assist people who want to quit smoking.
Second Source WebMD Medical Reference
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ, TMD)
Second Source WebMD Medical Reference
What Are Common Causes of Dental Injuries?
Dental injuries range from a chipped or fractured tooth to a knocked-out tooth. Treatment depends upon the severity of the dental injury. Dental injuries may be prevented by aligning protruding front teeth with braces and using face masks and mouthguards while playing sports.
Learn more about cavities including symptoms, treatment, and prevention. See how tooth decay, plaque, and bacteria contribute to the creation of cavities and how regular brushing and flossing can help prevent dental caries.
Braces and Retainers
Find out more about how orthodontic braces and retainers can provide proper alignment to crooked teeth. Get information about the cost of braces, the different types of braces, and the procedure for fitting a patient with braces.
Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding. Bruxism may be caused by stress or anxiety and often happens during sleep. Symptoms and signs include jaw pain, headache, and abnormalities in your teeth. Treatment may involve practicing stress-management techniques, cutting back on caffeine and alcohol, avoiding gum chewing, training oneself not to grind the teeth, and wearing a mouth guard.
First aid is providing medical assistance to someone a sick or injured person. The type of first aid depends on their condition. Preparedness is key to first aid, like having basic medical emergency kits in your home, car, boat, or RV. Many minor injuries may require first aid, including cuts, puncture wounds, sprains, strains, and nosebleeds. Examples of more critical first aid emergencies include heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and heatstroke.
Oral Health Problems in Children
Oral health problems in children include thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, lip sucking, tooth decay, and early tooth loss. Get tips on how to prevent these problems in your child.
How Do You Stop a Toothache At Home?
What causes a toothache? Learn how to take care of a toothache at home and the signs that there may be a more serious underlying condition from that toothache.
Oral Health and Bone Disease
Osteoporosis may be linked to bone loss in the jaw, which in turn, leads to tooth loss. Low bone density may result in ill-fitting dentures, tooth loss, and gum disease. Dental X-rays may be able to distinguish people with osteoporosis from those with normal bone density.
What’s Causing My Tooth Pain?
What's causing my tooth pain? Learn the signs of tooth pain and what might be causing it.
Local ResourcesFind a local Family Physician in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
- Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin)
- acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Ext, Little Fevers Children's Fever/Pain)
- Acetaminophen vs. Ibuprofen for Pain (Differences in Side Effects and Dosage)
- codeine (for Pain)
- naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn)
- Oxycodone vs. Codeine
- cocaine hydrochloride
- clindamycin, oral (Cleocin)
- lidocaine injection (Xylocaine)
- sodium fluoride 1.1% toothpaste - dental
- penicillin V
- lidocaine injection (Xylocaine)
- chlorhexidine gluconate oral rinse (Peridex, Periogard, Periochip)
Prevention & Wellness
- School Dental Care Program Could Cut Cavities in Half: Study
- In the COVID Era, Dental Appointments Won't Be the Same
- Cleaner Teeth, Healthier Heart?
- Antibiotics Not Recommended for Most Toothaches, New Guideline Says
- Health Tip: Sensitive Teeth
- Health Tip: Practice Good Oral Habits
- Health Tip: Understanding Bottlemouth Syndrome
- Health Tip: Prevent Tooth Decay in Babies
- Toothache? Neanderthals Might Have Reached for Aspirin, Too
- First Stop for Scuba Divers: The Dentist's Office?
- Health Tip: Coping With a Toothache
- 4 Billion People Worldwide Have Untreated Cavities: Study
- Health Tip: Promote Healthy Teeth
- Cost, Not Fear, Keeps More People From Dentist
- Health Tip: Troubled by a Toothache?
- Too Much Acetaminophen Over Time May Damage Liver
- Health Tip: I've Got a Toothache
- Don't Fear the Dentist
- Oral Health Care
- Dental: Crooked Teeth
- Dental: Sensitive Teeth
- Dental Fears - This Won't Hurt
- Toothache...Treatments 200 Years Ago!
- Cavities in Babies & Kids - The Truth
- Dentist and Golfer -- Cary Middlecoff
- Dental - Good Medicine May Lead To Bad Teeth
- Dental -Those Aching Baby Teeth!
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