The most common cause of toothache is an abscessed tooth. An abscessed tooth is a painful infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and the tooth. It’s most commonly caused by severe tooth decay, but can sometimes be caused by trauma to the tooth, or gum disease.
When you are experiencing a toothache, the length of time the ache lasts and the type of pain you are experience can help the dentist diagnose the problem. Sharp pain, especially when chewing, can suggest a nerve problem or a crack in the tooth. Dull pain can indicate a problem caused by the gums. Severe pain, or pain that is affecting sleep, can indicate an infection and means you definitely need to see a dentist.
Sometimes toothache pain can stop and it seems like the problem has gone away. Unfortunately, an abscess will not go away on its own and if you have been experiencing pain it is essential to see a dentist for an assessment and treatment if needed.
If you have any form of facial swelling you should seek medical help immediately. Dental abscesses are potentially life threatening as the swelling could impede your airways or the infection could spread to your blood or brain. If you notice any facial swelling outside our opening hours please see you doctor or attend the nearest emergency department.