Causes and Treatment of Toothache and Swelling


Toothaches can be painful and disconcerting, especially when you aren’t quite sure of the cause. Whilst some toothaches can be benign, if you also experience swelling then this may indicate something more serious and you should book an appointment with your dentist immediately. In this post, Sparkling Dental will be looking at some of the common causes of toothache, the symptoms and how they can be treated.

What is Toothache?

As the name implies, a toothache is pain felt anywhere in or around your teeth. Some toothaches may only be mildly uncomfortable, but pain levels can also be severe. Experiencing toothache is often a sign that there may be an issue with your tooth or gums, but they can also be caused by other issues within the body. You may experience constant pain, intermittent pain or sharp pain when clenching your teeth or eating. Oftentimes toothaches are accompanied by swelling gums and tooth sensitivity, which suggests that the two issues are related.  Pain and/or swelling should not be ignored, as toothaches are often caused by tooth decay which will need to be treated by your dentist.

Common Symptoms of Toothache

The experience of toothache can vary from individual to individual. If you have a mild toothache with no swelling, you may wish to monitor the situation for about 2 days. If pain persists, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your dentist so that they can inspect your teeth, determine the cause of your pain and provide appropriate treatment.

If you experience swelling, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately as this indicates the possibility of infection and will require immediate treatment.

Symptoms of toothache and swelling to be aware of include:

  • Throbbing sensation around your teeth or gums
  • Fever
  • Pain which worsens during eating, brushing, or clenching of teeth
  • Consistent toothache pain
  • Tender teeth or gums
  • Tooth sensitivity

What Causes Toothaches?

Most toothaches are caused by tooth decay, which occurs when acids eat away at the protective layer of enamel on your teeth, leaving you at risk of experiencing cavities or holes in the teeth. The best way to minimise your risk of cavities is to avoid snacking outside of set meal hours, avoid sugary snacks and drinks and ensure you brush your teeth twice daily. Practicing good oral hygiene and attending regular dental appointments will help to prevent toothache and ensure optimal dental health.

Other common causes of toothaches include:

  • Gum Disease
  • Chipped/cracked teeth
  • Impacted wisdom teeth
  • Dental abscess
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Root canal infections
  • Tooth grinding (bruxism)


Treatment of Toothaches and Swelling

Toothaches require professional treatment, so you should visit your dentist as soon as possible. During your visit, X-Rays may be taken, alongside a physical examination of your teeth. If tooth decay or other dental issues are observed, you will be provided with a detailed treatment plan which usually involves the removal of decay followed by fillings or dental crowns, and/or a prescription for pain medication and antibiotics.

Not all toothaches are caused by tooth decay, but you should always play it safe and visit your dentist rather than hope the problem goes away on its own. Even if pain subsides after a few days, there may be an underlying issue in need of addressing.

Experiencing Toothache or Swelling? Visit Sparkling Dental Neutral Bay Today

If you’re concerned about toothache or swelling, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Sparkling Dental. Our experienced dentists have a wealth of experience in diagnosing and treating toothache, and we can be contacted on 02 9953 0088.