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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

What is a toothache and what causes it?

A toothache is pain that is caused by irritation of the nerves in the center of your tooth. The irritation may be caused by several problems, such as a cavity, an infection, a cracked tooth, or gum disease.

Tooth Anatomy

How is a toothache diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask how long you have had a toothache. He or she will also ask if you have any other symptoms or medical conditions. Your healthcare provider will examine your tooth and mouth. Your provider may also examine your face and neck. You may need x-rays to check for an infection or cracked tooth.

How is a toothache treated?

Treatment depends on the cause of your toothache. You may need any of the following:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

How can I manage my toothache?

How can I help prevent a toothache?

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I contact my dentist?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.