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Close up smiling woman | Healthier Me TodayA toothache is a painful condition caused by tooth decay, gum disease, tooth fracture, repetitive motions, and broken fillings. Toothaches could also be a symptom of health conditions like lung cancer and heart disease. Studies have shown that toothaches could be a warning sign of myocardial infarction (heart attack) too.

While a toothache isn’t a life-threatening condition, you should never ignore it. Health experts have pointed out that toothaches linked to tooth decay might get worse if left untreated. Of course, there are a lot of at-home treatments that can help relieve the pain, but their effects are often short-lived. To permanently address a toothache, you may need to see a doctor.

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Categories of Toothaches

Experts categorize toothaches based on the severity of the symptoms. A toothache is regarded as mild if patients experience a minor pain that improves on its own within a couple of days. Severe cases are accompanied by symptoms like headache, unbearable pain, bleeding, difficulty talking and eating, and fever.

Symptoms of Toothaches

Here are some of the main symptoms of toothaches:

  • Throbbing pain in the gum or tooth
  • Sharp pain when you bite down on food or touch your tooth
  • Tenderness around your tooth
  • Bad breath
  • Headaches
  • Foul taste in your mouth
  • Swelling around the gum
  • Intense pain when you consume cold and hot drinks

Diagnosis of Toothaches

To narrow down the cause of your toothache, your doctor will check your medical history, ask about the symptoms you are experiencing, and carry out an oral exam. Your doctor may take an X-ray of your teeth to get a clear picture of where the problem is coming from.

How to Treat Toothaches

There are multiple ways to treat toothache. After narrowing down the cause of your toothache, your doctor will recommend any of the following treatments:

  • Antibiotics: Your doctor will recommend an antibiotic if you have sinusitis, fever, or your jaw is swollen.
  • Tooth Extraction: If, after a physical exam, your doctor finds out that your toothache is caused by tooth decay, he may use a specialized drill to remove the decay. If the tooth is seriously damaged, he may recommend a surgical procedure to remove it.
  • Pain Relief Medications: Your health care practitioner will recommend pain relief medications if you have occipital neuralgia or trigeminal neuralgia. Note that these conditions have no cure.
  • Over-The-Counter Medications: Over-the-counter medications, like aspirin and benzocaine, may be administered if a patient is experiencing mild pain.

How to Manage Toothaches

toothacheToothaches can be addressed with the following remedies. Be sure to consult your doctor before trying any of them, especially if you are breastfeeding or pregnant.

Rinse with Hydrogen Peroxide: Studies have shown that hydrogen peroxide can help kill harmful bacteria, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain. Make sure the hydrogen peroxide you use is properly diluted and ensure you don’t swallow it.

Guava Leaves: According to one study, guava leaves contain certain compounds that can improve oral health. Since guava leaves have anti-inflammatory properties, they can help speed up the healing process.

Garlic: Garlic is an antibacterial food that has a lot of medicinal properties. As can be seen in this study, garlic helps relieve pain. When using garlic to address toothaches, you have to crush it into a paste and apply it to the affected region.

Wheatgrass: Wheatgrass has anti-inflammatory properties and can boost the immune system. What’s more, it contains compounds that can kill bacteria.

Peppermint Tea Bags: Applying peppermint tea bags to the affected area can help reduce pain. You should allow the tea bag to cool down before applying it to get the best results.


  1. When should I consult a doctor about my toothache? You should seek medical attention quickly if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
  • Coughing blood
  • Swelling in your face
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fever
  • Earache
  • If the toothache doesn’t improve after 2 days

2. How can I prevent a toothache? To prevent a toothache, you have to take good care of your teeth. This can mean everything from brushing your teeth twice a day to flossing and using mouthwash. It is also important that you get regular dental checks. Improving your lungs and heart health by following a low-fat diet and exercising regularly can also help.

3. What is the fastest way to relieve a toothache at home? A cold compress is one of the fastest and easiest ways to address a toothache. All you need to do is wrap ice in a towel and place it on the affected region.

Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment, always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!