Why Does My Tooth Hurt? Identifying the Source of Your Toothache and What to Do Next

Pain and aches are one of the ways your body communicates to you that something is wrong. If you’re experiencing a toothache that won’t go away, it could indicate an underlying dental problem that needs to be addressed. But how do you determine the source of your tooth pain?

  • 1. Consider the Context: When you’re trying to find the source of your symptoms, your context can provide valuable clues. If you’ve recently been in an accident where dental trauma occured, your pain could indicate a fractured or damaged tooth. If your wisdom teeth haven’t been removed or your teeth haven’t been straightened, your toothache could be the result of an impacted tooth. Knowing whether or not you grind your teeth could also help you figure out the cause. If the pain is excruciating and emanating from the center of your tooth, it could indicate a tooth infection.
  • 2. Contact Your Dental Office: If you’re experiencing lasting tooth pain, you should call your dentist office. Talking with a dental professional with years of experience and explaining your symptoms and context can help you figure out why you have a toothache and your next immediate steps. The team can help you get an appointment with your dentist for a professional diagnosis and treatment.
  • 3. Schedule an Appointment and Visit Your Dentist: Your dentist can properly diagnose and identify the cause of your toothache. If there are multiple factors that could be contributing to your tooth pain, your dentist can use his years of experience, training, and knowledge to help you find the exact source and then prescribe treatment. He may be able to alleviate your symptoms right then and there.

What Can I Do in The Meantime?

If you’re experiencing tooth pain and can’t go to your dentist office, what are some things you can do to help manage the toothache until your appointment?

  • Ibprofen | You’ll want to be careful to only use it as a short-term remedy to tide you over until your dentist appointment, but taking an Ibprofen or other over-the-counter pain reliever can help.
  • Ice Pack | Try using an ice pack or other cold compress on your jaw for some immediate relief.
  • Warm Salt Water Rinse | Swishing a cup of hot water with a teaspoon of salt added can sooth your ache, but be careful not to burn yourself.