Symptoms and Signs of Toothache

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Toothache

A toothache is pain that is felt inside or around a tooth. There are many causes of toothache. Toothache can be caused by decay or abscess of a tooth, fracture (breaking) of a tooth, gum infection (called periodontitis), repeated tooth grinding, or damage to a previous filling or dental work.

The pain of a toothache may be throbbing, sharp, or dull. The pain may occur constantly or may only occur when there is pressure on the tooth, such as when eating. Symptoms that can be associated with toothache depend on the cause of the pain and may include redness and swelling of the gums and tissues around the tooth, fever, jaw pain, headache, or drainage of pus from the painful area. Toothache caused by trauma may be accompanied by breaking or chipping of the affected tooth.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.