Causes Of Toothache And How To Deal With It

Tooth pain – either mild or severe – is hard to ignore. The causes of toothache are many; the primary being tooth decay, cavities or infection. Toothache can also be a result of tooth extraction, which can cause a great deal of discomfort. However, sometimes it is not possible to get treatment for a toothache right away, especially at night. If a toothache lasts for more than 2 days and doesn’t go away even when you take painkillers, then it warrants a visit to the dentist.

In the below article, we’ll look at the different symptoms and causes of toothache along with toothache solutions and how to prevent it.

A] Toothache Symptoms

The pain from a toothache can radiate either from in or around a tooth. Minor toothaches can be caused due to temporary gum irritation, whereas severe toothaches can be a result of infection or injury that has to be treated by a dentist. Toothaches are caused when the pulp nerves inside your tooth are irritated or infected by bacteria. The pulp nerve – which is filled with tissues, blood and nerves – are quite sensitive and when they get inflamed, it can lead to severe tooth pain.

Some of the symptoms of toothache are:

  • Constant sharp and throbbing pain in and around the tooth, especially when pressure is applied to the affected tooth.
  • Swelling around the affected tooth or in your face and cheek.
  • Sensitivity to the pressure of chewing or biting.
  • Pain in the mouth & jaw as well as sore & bleeding gums which is a sign of gum disease.
  • Teeth sensitivity i.e. tooth pain when drinking hot/cold beverages.
  • Persistent bad breath and foul-smelling and foul-tasting discharge if the abscess ruptures.
  • Dry mouth, difficulty in breathing or swallowing. Also, fever and headache.

B] What Are the Causes of Toothache?

While toothaches are not life-threatening, they can be a sign of serious medical conditions that require immediate treatment. By understanding the underlying cause of a toothache, you’d be able to seek the right toothache treatment. Thus, here are some common causes of toothache and their respective symptoms.

  • Tooth Decay and Cavities: Tooth decay damages your tooth enamel – the outer, hard layer of your teeth. This is caused due to the plaque that forms on your teeth when you eat foods and drinks that contain sugar. This debris is turned into acids by the bacteria in your mouth, and the acids attack the tooth enamel causing cavities.

Severe tooth decay can affect the outer layer (enamel) as well as the inner layer (dentin) of your teeth and the symptoms include toothache, sensitive teeth, holes in your teeth, pain when you bite down on the affected tooth and black/brown tooth stains. Learn more about tooth decay and cavities treatment.

  • Abscess Tooth: A pocket of pus that forms around the root of an infected tooth is called an abscess. It is caused by a deep cavity or tooth decay, cracked tooth or gum disease. The infection from an abscessed tooth if not treated can spread beyond the neck, jaw, head, or other body parts and lead to serious problems. The symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, gum redness, teeth sensitivity, bad mouth odour, and trouble chewing, swallowing and breathing.
  • Cracked/Damaged/Broken Teeth: This is another cause of toothache. Over time, cavities can make the tooth enamel brittle, which could lead to cracked/damaged teeth. Likewise, a broken tooth can also cause pain if the tooth dentin and nerves are exposed. Also, a broken tooth may have sharp edges that may cut your tongue and cheek. Thus, this needs to be treated to alleviate tooth pain and avoid further damage or complications.
  • Gum Disease: Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused due to bacterial growth in your mouth and can lead to tooth loss if not treated. Periodontal disease is caused by poor oral hygiene, illness, medications or hormonal changes. Its symptoms include receding gums, persistent bad breath, bleeding during/after brushing, loose/shifting teeth, among others. Click here to learn more about periodontal examination.
  • Impacted Wisdom Tooth: Impacted wisdom teeth can also lead to tooth pain as they are more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease. They don’t always have symptoms, but if infected, it can cause jaw pain, red/swollen gums, bad breath, bleeding gums, etc. Go here for details on wisdom tooth extraction services.

C] Toothache Solutions

The most obvious solution for a toothache is to visit a dentist at the earliest. However, if you can’t go to the dentist right away, then you can alleviate tooth pain by taking a painkiller and eating soft foods like yoghurt or scrambled eggs. Avoid smoking as it can worsen the pain. Also, avoid foods that are extremely sweet/spicy, hot and cold.

At the first opportunity, book an appointment with the dentist as the earlier the dental problem is treated, the much fewer chances of you losing your teeth. Plus, it eliminates any further complications.

To treat tooth pain, the dentist will:

  • Review your medical history and conduct an examination.
  • Ask specific questions: when did the pain start, which part is paining, and how severe it is.
  • Examine the gums, teeth and surrounding areas.
  • A dental x-ray and other tests may be recommended to determine the exact cause.
  • Based on the cause, the dentist will outline treatment options. For example, cavities may need fillings while a tooth nerve infection may require root canal treatment.

Also, depending on the cause and seriousness of the dental problem, the dentist may provide immediate treatment. Or he may ask you to wait for a few days and in the meantime, prescribe pain medication to alleviate discomfort.

D] How to Prevent Toothaches?

  • The best way to prevent toothache is to brush twice a day and floss at least once. Read here to learn more about how to brush your teeth.
  • Eating healthy can also help maintain your oral and dental health. This means avoiding foods such as soda, candies and other junk foods and eating more green veggies, fruits, almonds, nuts, among others. Check out this infographic on the best and worst foods for your teeth.
  • Smoking can also affect your teeth and cause discolouration, plaque and gum diseases. Thus, it is best to limit or quit smoking altogether. Know more about how smoking and dental health is related.
  • Lastly, have regular dental check-ups at least twice a month to prevent any kind of dental issues. Learn more about the importance of visiting the dentist every 6 months.

#Emergency Dental Care

As a Sunshine Coast dentist, we make available emergency after-hours dental care services to the residents of the Sunshine Coast. Through our after hour emergency service helpline, we transfer the calls received to qualified dentists, who’ll provide timely advice to alleviate dental pain until you can make an appointment with your dentist. The common dental emergencies include toothache, broken fillings, dental abscess, chipped tooth, knocked-out tooth, painful ulcers, among others. Thus, if you need the aid of an after hours emergency dentist, then don’t hesitate to call on (07) 54444308 A/H service number.

Need any further help or have a query? Get in touch with us!

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10/7 Nicklin Way

Minyama QLD 4575, Australia

Opening Hours

Mon - Fri: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Book Appointment

(07) 5444 4308 & 1300 70 60 90

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Adarsh (Principal Dentist)


Adarsh (A-Dash) is the principal dentist at Oris Dental. Adarsh graduated as a dentist in 1996 from the University of Mumbai (Bombay, India). He entered private practice as an assistant dentist in one of the leading practices in Mumbai from 1996-2002. The practice offered all aspects of dentistry with the exception of Orthodontics. This prompted Adarsh to pursue a post graduate degree in Orthodontics and successfully completed the 3 year Full time the master’s program from University of Mumbai (Bombay, India) in 2005. Since then, Adarsh has been in private practice both as a general dentist and an orthodontist. He also served as teaching faculty at University in Mumbai for 3 yrs and when in India, he has been ‘the dentist’ to many dentists!! In 2008, Adarsh took the Australian Dental Council exam for direct recognition of his skill in Australia. He successfully completed the exams in the first attempt and moved to Australia early 2009. He has been in private practice in Australia since Jan 2009. Oris Dental was set up in Minyama in 2011. Oris Dental is now over 8 years old and is growing to be a well-respected practice in the area. He is particularly interested in Cosmetic dentistry Dental implants and Orthodontics. Adarsh hopes to use all the experience he has gained in the past 22 years, to offer the best in dentistry to all his patients in this practice. Adarsh believes in spreading smiles and has successfully designed smiles and in doing so improved the lives and self-confidence of many Sunshine Coast locals (Take a look at our Smile gallery!). Adarsh is an active member of the Australian Dental Association since 2009 He held the post of Senior Lecturer in Orthodontics in Mumbai University before moving to Australia. He is a Life member of the Indian Dental Association, serving as the General Secretary of the Association (Mumbai City Chapter) 2007-2009 He is Life member of the Indian Orthodontic Society. He is Candidate for Membership Examination MRACDS (Ortho) and plans to complete his membership exams soon. Adarsh is also currently pursuing his Diploma in Implant dentistry at the Royal College of Surgeons(Edinburgh). Adarsh has recently complete intensive training in implant placement and restoration in Neoss and TRI (Swiss) Implant system. He is married to Prachi for 15yrs and they have a 11 yr old son – Aarjav, a little daughter Aria who has just started prep and Daisy the mad Lab pup! He is currently learning to play Tennis and Badminton and loves watching the cricket!

Prachi (Owner/ Dentist)


Prachi is the director, part time dentist at Oris Dental. Prachi graduated in 2002 from Nair hospital dental college, Mumbai (Bombay, India), one of the leading dental schools in Asia. She then worked in multiple private practices across Mumbai (Bombay, India). While working as a dentist in various practices she picked up the positives from them and implemented them into this practice at Oris Dental. She is very friendly by nature and is particularly good at handling children, preventive dentistry and hygiene. Prachi moved to Australia in 2009. Prachi has there on completed her Australian Dental council exams successfully in early 2011 and is now ready to bring in her 12 years of experience to Oris Dental. Prachi also serves as a part time dentist at the Oral Health Services Sunshine Coast in Caloundra Kawana and Nambour as needed.

Davina (Dentist)


Davina has been a part of our family since 2014. After completing her bachelor’s degree from the University of Queensland, Davina has been in private practice in an around the Sunshine coast for a year before joining us full time. Davina shows exemplary skills in building a great relationship and rapport with her patients and is well regarded by her peers. Davina is very highly regarded by her current patients. Davina currently works 3 days a week.

Lise Slack (Dental Hygienist)

Lise Stack

Our dental hygienist Lise Slack is a trained member of the dental team who works together with your dentist in preventing gum diseases and dental decay.

Lise joined OrisDental in 2015 and has worked extensively in private specialist practices. She graduated from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa in 1982 and has had specific training and exposure to an extensive range of periodontal conditions and treatment modalities.

Lise’s dad was a professor in dentistry and this is where her love of teeth comes from. She has invented two specialist oral care products which are available in Australia and several international countries. Lise has also lectured at international dental conferences on the maintenance of dental implants and how to help patients care for their teeth once they have contracted periodontitis.

Both adults and children can benefit from having an appointment with a dental hygienist as they are taught how dental diseases occur and how it can be prevented or managed.

Lise is married to Sam and they have two daughters. They value their family time and love adventurous outdoor sports.

Jesse (Dental Assistant)

Jesse (Dental Assistant)

Jess has been a part of Oris Dental from the outset in 2011. Always cheerful and welcoming Jess is the star amongst our patients at our practice. If you cannot find Jess in the practice she will be at the beach!


Kaela (Receptionist)

Debra (Receptionist)

Kaela arrived at our practice in early 2021. Coming from eight years of retail experience in Northern NSW, she loves working with people and assisting in any way she can. Kaela has also just finished her training as a dental assistant. You will immediately fall in love with her happy, bubbly personality.

Abby (Sr. Dental Assistant)

Abby (Dental Assistant)

Abby is originally from Hervey Bay, but she has been calling the Sunshine Coast home with her husband and two kids for the past four and a half years. Abby completed her cert III in dental assisting in 2015 and is looking to further her studies In the near future. Abby enjoys camping, playing guitar, and travelling
the world with her family.

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    Dr. Param Dass

    Dr. Param Dass

    Param Dass graduated with a Bachelor in Dentistry from the University of Otago, NZ in 2005. He went on to complete his Bachelor in Medicine from the University of Auckland NZ in 2010.

    Param started working part time in our practice since 2015 with special interest in surgical procedures including Dental implants and bone grafting procedures, Surgical extractions including Wisdom teeth and other minor surgical procedures.

    Param is well known for being gentle and caring in treating patients with dental anxiety and maintains a calm demeanour.

    He is also well trained in working with patients with various levels of anxiety, offering dental treatment under Happy Gas, Twilight sedation or under Full general anaesthetic.

    Dr. Brayden Fracchia

    Dr. Brayden Fracchia

    Brayden hails from North Queensland, having completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at JCU Cairns, practicing in Hobart and outreach dentistry from Mount Isa over the course of his studies. He has worked with us since 2020. Brayden enjoys becoming a part of a community and enjoys the outdoors and sport in his spare
    time. Having only recently moved to the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Brayden is enthusiastic and well versed in all aspects of basic general dentistry and looks forward to bringing North Queensland hospitality to the South East.



    Briar stated off as a trainee dental assistant in our practice mid-2020. She is the youngest member of our practice and is rapidly becoming an integral part of team Oris. Briar completed her Certificate 3 in our practice in 2021 and works full time Dental assistant at Oris Dental.



    Drew is Oris Dental’ newest member, who has only recently moved from his hometown of Rockhampton. He is our Oral Health Therapist, who specializes in oral health education, general check-ups, fillings and more!
    He loves a good chat and a laugh at work. He prioritizes patient’s comfort and likes to encourage an environment where everyone feels a sense of security and safety in the dental setting. When Drew isn’t at work you’ll find him having a refreshing swim at the beach or having his usual dirty chai at his local cafe.



    Jasmine joined our practice in November 2021 and works with our Oral Health Therapist Drew. Jasmine is new to dental assistance, however is quickly taking on any and all challenges that come her way! She loves animals, and spending quality time with her husband and two kids. Welcome to the team!



    Brooke is originally from Brisbane but has been living on the coast since 2017. She brings over 15 years of experience in the dental industry and has had the opportunity to work in London and Melbourne for the Royal Flying Doctors. Brooke enjoys surfing, scuba diving and exploring the many things that the Sunny Coast has to offer.