Why Does My Tooth Hurt?

If you have a toothache that has lasted for a few days, chances are there is something behind the ache. Symptoms associated with a toothache could be any sharp, throbbing, or constant pain, or swelling around the tooth. Headaches can also occur, along with fevers. If there is an infection, drainage from the infected tooth can be a factor. This pain could be caused by a cavity, any swelling or inflammation of the gums, or any excessive pressure being applied to the tooth or surrounding areas.

When Should I See My Dentist About a Toothache?

You should seek professional help from your dentist if the pain persists, or worsens within a few days. Typically, a toothache is caused when a cavity forms, when a filling comes off and exposes the tooth, or if the gums become infected. Infections can arise from a cavity, causing discomfort and signaling the need for a scheduled appointment to fix the cavity.

Treatment Options for Toothaches

Treatment for toothaches depends on the cause. If you have a cavity, Dr. Wright or Dr. Heron will fill it, or, if necessary, perform a root canal procedure or tooth extraction. Pain relievers are everyone’s friend when it comes to quick and temporary relief. Aspirin and Ibuprofen are typically used for headaches or body pains, but are just as effective for temporarily relieving toothaches. Ibuprofen has an anti-inflammatory effect, which may be better than aspirin.

Toothaches could also result from gum inflammation. Mom’s old trick, the bag-of-peas, or an ice-pack placed on the appropriate side of your cheek, will help numb the pain and can also reduce swelling.  Elevating your head can help alleviate pain, as well. This reduces the amount of pressure placed on your teeth, making them less sensitive. Be sure to inform Dr. Wright or Dr. Heron of any home remedies that you attempted to alleviate the aches so they can more accurately diagnose the cause. Always exercise caution when using prescription medications, as improper use can be harmful.


As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.