Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Tooth Pain

  • Introduction to toothpain
  • Causes of toothpain
  • Prevention of toothpain
  • Home remedies for toothpain
  • Treatment of toothpain

Introduction to toothpain

“Tooth pain” or “Tooth ache” can be generally regarded as pain around a particular tooth, teeth or jaws. Tooth pain can range from mild discomfort or sensitivity to being excruciatingly painful. Some women have even compared toothpain to being as painful as child birth. Of course, these might be exaggerated claims from some desperate women, but it does reflect the intensity of the pain arising from a toothache.

The actual pain we feel is due to the irritation of the nerves which are associated with the tooth/teeth. If you didn’t know, nerves are responsible for carrying sensations like heat, cold, touch and PAIN to the brain. In this case when the nerves inside the tooth are irritated, these carry the pain impulse to the brain.

Causes of toothpain

Most of the causes of tooth pain are limited to oral/Dental causes.

The oral causes of toothpain are

  • Tooth Decay or Cavity (being the most common cause of tooth pain)

The most common cause of tooth pain is Tooth Decay. Tooth decay is the degradation of the tooth due to harmful acids secreted by bacteria in the oral cavity.

  • Gum Disease

The next important causing agent of tooth pain is gum disease. Poor oral hygiene leads to bacterial plaque accumulation and the toxins release from these bacteria damage the gums. The gums become swollen, red and painful (Gingivitis). If gum disease is not controlled early, you are at a risk of losing your tooth.

  • Root Sensitivity

Root sensitivity (commonly termed as tooth sensitivity) is when the roots of the teeth become exposed due to recession of the gums. The roots are very sensitive and respond with pain to reasonably hot or cold foods.

  • Cracked teeth

A painful accidental blow or extreme biting force can cause the tooth fracture which can become a source of intense pain whenever the fractured tooth is even touched.

  • Temporomandibular joint(TMJ) Disorder

TMJ disorder is an inflammatory reaction at the sight of the lodgment of the lower jaw at the skull. Various factors such as Bruxism (Night grinding or teeth grinding), arthritis can cause TMJ disorders.

  • Wisdom tooth eruption or impaction

The eruption of Wisdom tooth often causes pain due to its misalignement. It can become impacted (does not erupt) and require surgical extraction.

  • Fillings:

People who have undergone fillings can get severe toothache suddenly. This might be because of the spread of the decay to the pulp and you will need to undergo root canal treatment for that. It can also occur due to accumulation of fluid with organic debris and bacteria between the filling and your teeth often termed as microleakage in Dental jargon.

The non-oral causes include Ear and Sinus infections .

Prevention of toothpain

There is no magic trick to prevent tooth pain from occurring. All you need to do is maintain a good oral hygiene which you can do by following the 10 Commandments for healthy teeth.

Home remedies for toothpain

There isn’t a fixed time for toothpain to occur. You can’t drive to your dentist at 3 am at night. However, you can surf the net looking for home remedies. Although, these should not be substituted for a visit to the dentist, they can provide temporary relief from the agonizing pain.

I have not tried any of them and do not suggest their use either. They are listed here for informational purposes only

1. Sensodyne Therapy: Works for tooth cavities

  1. Rinse your mouth with warm water.
  2. Put max strength sensodyne toothpaste on the cavity.
  3. You can feel the pain relief after few minutes.

The effect will decrease when you drink water or other liquids after putting the sensodyne.

2. The Whiskey Mix: Works for nearly all tooth pains and is quite effective. Note that this can be nasty when you try it.

  1. Add teaspoon of baking soda in a shot of Whiskey.
  2. Swish around the affected tooth for two minutes.

Try this if you have unmanageable tooth pain and you cant get health care right away.

3. Nyquil therapy: Lots of people swear by this fast and effective trick. It works very well indeed and I have quite a few people thanking me for this one.

Take half a teaspoon of Nyquil or Kroger Nitetime (cold/flu syrups) and swish around the affected area.


Try sucking at a clove or put clove oil on the affected tooth.

Place a raw piece of onion on the affected tooth.

Treatment for Tooth Pain

The treatments for toothpain vary greatly. They treat the actual cause of your tooth pain. For example

If you have tooth decay, you will have to undergo a filling procedure.

If the tooth decay has reached your pulp, you would have to undergo a RCT procedure.

If you have impacted Wisdom tooth, they need to be extracted.

Your dentist will determine the best treatment option for you after examining you.

Quick Contacts


3rd Floor, Upperhill medical centre.

Tel:020 2722878/2712879/2730276

Mobile: +254 722 513561 +254 733 513561

Our Procedure Room

With a depth of experience in Dental and orthodontic procedures i have recognition from world class institutions & various fellowship organisation.

Who we are

The All Smiles Dental practice @ Upperhill medical centre is an Ultramodern and specialised clinic, fully computerised and equipped with state of the art Dental Equipments.