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"There was never yet philosopher who could endure the toothache patiently."
William Shakespeare

Causes of toothaches

toothache painMost commonly caused by tooth decay, an abscess or gum infection, a toothache can be very debilitating.

Sometimes, toothaches arise when a tooth is damaged either through a fall, blow to the face or by some other accident, and the root and nerve is exposed. That's why hot, cold or overly sweet foods may react so painfully with a damaged tooth.

Sinus infection, migraine, habitual teeth grinding, or certain nerve conditions can also cause your teeth to ache but, more often, that classic shocking pain you feel is a sure sign of tooth decay.

Treating toothaches & abscesses

If left untreated, a toothache can lead to a tooth abscess (infection) that may spread to other parts of the head or jaw, and can cause even more serious consequences. An abscessed tooth - usually recognized by continuous deep pain and throbbing - requires immediate treatment.

While its always best to see a dentist, there are home remedies you may try to ease the pain until appointment day.

Over-the-counter pain relievers, or nerve-deadening medication ("tooth drops") are the usually first line of defense. Traditional home cures also include applying oil of cloves to the infected area, or simply rinsing the mouth with warm water or mouthwash to dislodge a particle of food that may be causing exposed nerve pain.

Phantom toothache pain

The mystery of how toothache pain actually works is pointed out by the fact that sometimes a phantom ache can arise. The tooth may be in sympathy with a decaying tooth nearby or located on the opposite side of the jaw. That's why it's important to see a dentist who can exactly identify the source of the pain.

More about treating toothaches around the Web:

Elsewhere on the Web, find out how you can prevent tooth decay and its resulting aches along with more information on home remedies, old wives tales, toothache myths and other tips on coping with pain until you can get professional dental treatment ...

How to Relieve a Toothache - Check out detailed information on causes with plenty of home remedies to try along with a discussion on common toothache myths.

International Home Remedies - Toothache - Published e-mails from around the world with advice for easing the pain of cavities, abscesses and root canal.

Toothache Tree - Wikipedia entry on the common shrub "zanthoxylum clava-herculis" found in the southeastern U.S. purported to ease the pain of toothaches by chewing on its leaves, with related photos and resources.

Toothache Tales - The common pain in history, literature and poetry, old wives tales and "curious cures."


This information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.

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