Mouth | Odontologie | Toothache (Symptom)


A toothache, also known as odontalgia or, less frequently, as odontalgy, is an aching pain in or around a tooth, gum or jaws primarily as a result of a dental condition.


Dental aetiology, in most cases toothaches are caused by problems in the tooth or jaw, such as: dental caries, pulpits, an inflammation of the dental pulp. This can be either reversible or irreversible. Irreversible pulpits can be identified by sensitivity and pain lasting longer than fifteen seconds, although an exception to this may exist if the tooth has been recently operated on. Teeth affected by irreversible pulpits will need either root canal treatment or extraction of the tooth. A special condition is barodontalgia, a dental pain evoked upon changes in barometric pressure, in otherwise asymptomatic but diseased teeth. Other causes are: periodontitis, wisdom teeth, cracked tooth, dry socket, which is a condition arising after having one or more teeth extracted (especially mandibular wisdom teeth).

Non-dental aetiology: Trigeminal neuralgia, cytotoxic chemotherapy, atypical odontalgia, referred pain of angina pectoris or a myocardial infarction. The severity of a toothache can range from chronic and mild to sharp and excruciating. The pain may be aggravated by chewing or by cold or heat.

Diagnosis and Treatment

A thorough oral examination, which includes dental X-rays, can help determine whether the toothache is coming from a tooth or jaw problem and the cause.