Toothache/dental pain




Dental pain

Pain in and or around the teeth that may be constant or felt after stimulation or both.


How dental pain feels like

Itís possible that you could be experiencing dental pain like one or combination of them, such as:

Tenderness, an aching pain that feel sensitive or uncomfortable

Dull pain, a pain that is not sharp or intense

Gnawing pain, a constant/persistent pain that does not go away

Throbbing pain, a pulsating or beating pain

Intermittent pain, an irregular or alternating pain

Shooting pain, pain that feels like a bursting sensation

Burning pain, pain that feels like a  thermal burn

Sharp pain, a severely intense piercing pain

Excruciating pain, an unbearable extremely tormenting pain


Pain can be measured by using Pain Intensity Scale of 1 to 10:

1-2-3 is mild, it feels nagging or annoying but bearable, it may or may not stop you from usual activities

4-5-6  is moderate, it feels distressing that may interfere daily activities

7-8-9-10 is severe, it feels disabling, incapacitating or tormenting pain  that stops you from doing anything


Causes of dental pain

Dental caries / tooth decay that may or may not have exposed the pulp

Inflammation of the pulp either from dental caries / tooth decay or trauma (pulpitis)

Emergence of wisdom teeth, age between 17 to early 20's

Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis/periodontitis)

Exposed roots

Cracked tooth

Head injuries

Dental trauma

Referred pain from sinus, jaw, head, neck and heart



Pulpitis is the inflammation of the pulp and invokes pain.

If you are experiencing a severe, sharp or throbbing pain that lasts for 10-15 minutes and usually thermally (hot, cold, sweet) stimulated, this may indicate that you are having an inflamed pulp.  Removal of the cause such as tooth decay may bring about resolution of the symptoms but if the infection has reached the pulpal area, the tooth may need to be root canal treated or if the infection has caused an abscess, removal of the tooth would be indicated.

If the pain is dull and throbbing and lasts for several hours, this indicates that you are having a chronic pulpitis (long standing inflammation of the pulp) and the affected tooth or teeth is likely to be badly infected and needed to be root canal treated or removed.


Treatment of dental pain

If dental treatment is inevitably unavailable, over the counter NSAID (Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)  can be tried. It may provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation . Make sure you are not allergic to this medication. 

Signs and symptoms of pain warrant a dental visit to determine the cause, can be diagnosed and treated accordingly.


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