Toothache

Main Symptoms

  • Pain or discomfort in a tooth
  • Main Cause: Tooth decay
  • Other Common Causes: Food wedged between the teeth or injured tooth

See More Appropriate Topic

Call Your Dentist or Doctor Now (night or day) If

  • Your child looks or acts very sick
  • Fever is present
  • Face is swollen
  • Severe pain

Call Your Dentist Within 24 Hours (between 9 and 4) If

  • You think your child needs to be seen
  • Toothache present > 24 hours
  • Brown cavity visible in the painful tooth
  • Red or yellow lump present at the gumline of the painful tooth

Call Your Dentist During Weekday Office Hours If

  • You have other questions or concerns

Parent Care at Home If

  • Mild toothache present < 24 hours and you don't think your child needs to be seen

Home Care Advice for Mild Toothache

  1. Reassurance: Most toothaches are temporary and due to a sensitive tooth. If the pain becomes worse or doesn't resolve in 24 hours, it could be due to a small cavity.
  2. Floss: Floss on either side of the painful tooth to remove any wedged food.
  3. Pain Medicine: Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief.
  4. Local Cold: Apply an ice pack to the painful jaw for 20 minutes
  5. Expected Course: Most minor causes of toothache resolve in less than a day.
  6. Call Your Doctor If
    • Toothache persists > 24 hours
    • The toothache becomes worse or develops any of the "Call Your Dentist Now" symptoms