How to treat unbearable toothache

Toothache can range from minor to unbearable – but not enough people know how to treat it or when to seek help. 

Minor toothache often occurs as a result of gum irritation, whilst severe and long-lasting pain is often an indication of cavities, an infection, or conditions that need professional attention. 

Here’s what you need to know. 


Types of toothache 

Toothache comes in all shapes and sizes, often in the form of a dull ache, sensitivity, or sharp pain. 

In severe cases, this can turn into throbbing and swelling of the gums, causing headaches, fever, and chills – with bad breath or an unpleasant taste being common, too. 

For some people, a toothache can last just a day or two as a result of gum irritation, but for others, it can be agonising pain that comes and goes until treated. 

How to treat unbearable toothache - Scott Arms

Why do I have toothache?

Toothache can simply be caused by a tough bit of food stuck in between the teeth, but common causes that need to be treated include: 

Gum disease

Plaque and bacteria buildup can lead to gum disease, which shows itself in the form of red, swollen, and sometimes bleeding lumps along the gumline. 

When left untreated, it causes pain in the teeth and gums. 

Teeth grinding 

If you clench or grind your teeth, you’ll be putting pressure on the teeth and jaw, causing lasting toothache. 


As a result of plaque buildup, overindulging in sugar, and poor oral hygiene, tooth decay causes small holes to form in the enamel. 

If left untreated, it can cause sensitivity and toothache until seen by a dentist. 


Signs of an abscess in the gum often include a throbbing pain and swelling, which can worsen and spread to the ear, jaw, and neck.

How to treat unbearable toothache - Scott Arms

When to see a dentist 

If your toothache lasts longer than two days, swelling is present on the jaw or cheeks, or you struggle to open your mouth, it’s time to call a dentist. 

If you’re experiencing fever and chills alongside your unbearable toothache, you’ll be classed as having a dental emergency, so should seek emergency treatment as soon as possible. 

We have emergency dentists in Birmingham who are available 24/7 if you’re struggling with unbearable toothache. 


Toothache treatments 

Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce the symptoms of toothache, including quick fixes and restorative dental treatments. 


Depending on the cause of your toothache, you could be prescribed antibiotics and pain medication to reduce the pain and symptoms of any infection. 


If a cavity or chipped tooth is causing pain, you’ll likely be recommended a filling to remove any damage in the tooth and repair the gaps with a dental filling. 


For larger cavities or fractures, a dental crown helps to improve strength and reduce the risk of future damage. 

Root canal

If the tooth pulp is what’s causing inflammation and pain, a root canal will be recommended to remove the inflamed nerves and blood vessels. 

Root canal treatment is often combined with dental crowns to cover any discolouration and strengthen the tooth. 


Can toothache go away on its own?

If toothache has occurred because of food stuck between the teeth, it may go away once removed.

But if it’s coming from within the tooth itself, you should see a dentist as soon as you can. If left untreated, it can worsen and affect further aspects of your health. 

How to treat unbearable toothache - Scott Arms

Can toothache be prevented?

Oral hygiene routine 

Brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste and soft-bristled brush twice a day ensures no food gets stuck in between the teeth or around the gums, and removes bacteria built up throughout the day. 


Flossing should also be done twice a day. While you may think it’s just an extra step in your routine, it can get rid of plaque, reduce the risk of cavities, and help prevent gum disease. 

Keeping your teeth and gums clean and free from bacteria limits soreness in the mouth. 

Reduce intake of sugary foods and drinks 

As sugar plays such a big part in the health of your teeth and gums, it’s recommended you don’t overindulge to reduce the buildup of plaque and risk of tooth decay. 

Visit a dentist regularly 

Seeing your dentist as advised gives you the chance to spot problems before they develop into something worse. 

They can also provide deep cleans to reduce bacteria buildup in the gums. 

How to treat unbearable toothache - Scott Arms

Beat toothache today with Scott Arms Dental Practice 

Are you currently living with unbearable toothache?

Showing early signs of serious dental concerns?

Get in touch with the team at Scott Arms Dental Practice for expert advice and support. 

Our wide range of treatments and years of experience in the industry will help get your teeth back to full health, with a tailored plan on how to maintain your oral health and reduce the likelihood of toothache returning.

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