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Toothache happens when the innermost layer of the tooth – called dental pulp – becomes inflamed. Dental pulp is made up of soft, delicate tissue that contains sensitive nerves and blood vessels.

There are many different causes of toothache but the most common would relate to having tooth decay or cavities in which case a filling or extraction of the effected tooth may be necessary.

Another main cause of toothache could be because the tooth has become infected and has an abscess.  This is where the nerve has become infected and you may require root canal treatment.

Other causes of toothache are:

• Sinus infection or inflammation

• Periodontal (gum) disease

• Tooth grinding

• Impacted wisdom teeth

• Cracked, chipped or broken teeth

• Damaged fillings

Depending on the cause of your toothache, the pain may subside on its own but if you have severe or chronic toothache that lasts more than a couple of days, you should contact your dentist for an appointment.  Your dentist will examine your mouth and may carry out an X-ray to try to identify the problem.

The best way to avoid getting toothache and other dental problems is to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. To do this, you should:


•brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste; gently brush your gums and tongue as well

•clean between your teeth using dental floss and, if necessary, use a mouthwash

•limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks; you should have them as an occasional treat and only at mealtimes

•don’t smoke as it can make some dental problems worse

Visit your dentist once a year for a dental check-up. Children should have a dental check-up every six months so that tooth decay can be spotted and treated early.

If you would like to book a exam with your dentist please click here.