Why Do I Have an Aching Tooth?

If your child is experiencing an aching tooth, or various tooth pains, but don’t know what’s causing it, keep reading. There are a number of factors that can cause aching tooth pain, including gingivitis and tooth decay.

Luckily, there are a number of solutions that can ease the pain of a toothache and treat the underlying problem.

aching tooth

Symptoms of an Aching Tooth

Not all toothaches are caused by the same problem. If your child is experiencing the following symptoms, keep reading to learn what could be causing a toothache.

  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and liquids
  • Sensitivity after dental treatment
  • Sharp, throbbing pain when biting down
  • Lingering pain after eating
  • Dull ache or pressure
  • Constant pain in one area of your mouth
  • Severe pain and pressure with swelling and sensitivity

symptoms of toothache

Seven Common Toothache Causes and Solutions

Below are seven common causes of a toothache and solutions to treat them:

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, also known as a cavity, can cause aches and pains that are made worse when biting into a hard surface or drinking something hot, cold, or sweet.

Your child’s dentist can determine what is causing tooth decay and recommend the necessary treatment.

Abscessed Tooth

An abscess is an infection at the root of a tooth or in the space between the gum and tooth. An abscessed tooth can cause a toothache that is constant, sharp, and severe.

A dentist will clean out the infection and may perform a root canal or other necessary procedure.

Infected Pulp

If your child is experiencing constant pain around one tooth, or has lingering pain after eating, he or she might have pulp tissue inside the tooth that is infected, inflamed, or dying.

A dentist can diagnose the problem before pain becomes severe and determine if a root canal treatment is necessary.

there are different causes for your aching tooth


Gingivitis, also known as gum disease, results from a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. There is often pain in the tooth and gums when brushing, flossing, or eating.

Good oral hygiene may help the problem, but your dentist can recommend other treatments if the gum disease is more severe.

Sinus Pain

Sometimes, pain in the sinus area of the face can be felt around the upper back teeth since they share the same nerves. Because of this, it can be difficult to determine if sinuses or teeth are the problem.

Take your child to the dentist to find out if teeth grinding or clenching is a factor in the pain, or if sinuses are the actual problem.

Cracked Tooth

Damage from a cracked tooth, broken crown, or loose filling can cause sharp pain when biting down on food. A dentist can remove any decay and replace loose fillings.

Your dentist can also examine how severe your child’s cracked tooth is and recommend you to a specialist that offers other forms of treatment.

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can be due to stress and is a common cause of toothaches. Symptoms of bruxism include swelling in the jaw, general pain in the face, headaches in the morning, and worn teeth.

Consult with a dentist as soon as possible to determine if a mouth guard or other stress-management techniques are necessary.

Kool Smiles will help with your child's aching tooth

How to Relieve Toothache Pain

An aching tooth can be temporarily relieved by applying the following remedies:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Ibuprofen
  • Rinsing with warm saltwater daily
  • Flossing to remove any food particles stuck between teeth
  • Gently biting on a cotton ball soaked in clove oil or vanilla extract
  • Chewing on garlic or ginger
  • Partially biting on slices of lime, lemon, or other citrus fruits
  • Applying an ice pack to the outside of the mouth helps numb the area
  • Inserting a warm tea bag between the sore tooth and gums

A toothache should not go ignored. An aching tooth could be the sign of a serious dental problem and should be examined by a dentist as soon as possible.

Call Kool Smiles Today

For help with toothache relief, locate your nearest Kool Smiles office. Our experienced dentists will be able to determine the cause of your child’s aching tooth and offer solutions.

Call us today to make an appointment—we accept most major insurance providers, including Medicaid, Tricare, and SCHIP.



Colgate: http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/procedures/root-canals/article/illustrations-root-canal-treatment-from-start-to-finish

Orajel: http://www.orajel.com/en/Resource-Center/Toothache-Pain-Relief/Home-Remedies-and-Managing-Pain

Dear Doctor: http://www.deardoctor.com/inside-the-magazine/issue-15/tooth-pain/

Mouth Healthy: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/decay

WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/abscessed-tooth

Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gingivitis/basics/causes/con-20021422