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Medical term for a toothache: What Is Odontalgia? | Toothache Treatment

What Is Odontalgia? | Toothache Treatment

Are you experiencing an intense shooting pain in your teeth or face making it hard to talk, eat, or even breathe normally? If so, you may be experiencing odontalgia. Odontalgia is the medical term for toothache and can range from mild discomfort to severe pain. It’s typically caused by a problem with one or more of the teeth, including infection, trauma, or decay. It can also be caused by an issue with the jaw, such as a malocclusion (misalignment of teeth).

Whatever the reason for odontalgia, it’s important to seek dental treatment right away. A qualified dentist can diagnose the reason for your odontalgia and provide appropriate care. Whether you need a filling, a root canal, periodontal treatment services, or another type of dental care, a dentist can help relieve your odontalgia and restore your oral health.

The team at Columbia Smiles, led by Dr. Parisa Parizadeh and Dr. Michael Hsu, is dedicated to providing gentle, comprehensive dental care that helps patients find relief from odontalgia. Call us today at 410.690.4855 to schedule an appointment.

An Overview of Odontalgia

Toothaches of any kind can be categorized as odontalgia, but they can vary in intensity and duration. It’s important to recognize the signs of odontalgia so that you can seek help right away. Common symptoms include:

  • Sharp, shooting pains
  • Dull ache or throbbing sensation
  • Pain that worsens when pressure is applied
  • Pain that radiates to other areas, such as the head or face
  • Difficulty eating or drinking fluids
  • Swelling of the gums around the painful tooth
  • Fever or chills
  • Unpleasant taste in the mouth

If you’re experiencing any of these odontalgia symptoms, contact a dentist right away to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Common Causes of Odontalgia

The most common cause of odontalgia is tooth decay, or cavities. When bacteria accumulate on the enamel of your teeth, they can create holes in the surface and eventually reach the root, leading to odontalgia. Other causes include:

  • Infection or abscessed tooth
  • Deep filling
  • Loose dental crown or fractured tooth
  • Broken filling
  • Sinus infection
  • Injury to the head, face, or jaw
  • Referred pain from the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or other areas of the mouth
  • Grinding your teeth at night
  • Gum disease
  • Hot or cold foods and beverages

Finding Relief from Odontalgia

At Columbia Smiles, we understand the pain odontalgia can cause. Depending on what’s causing your tooth pain, your dentist may recommend a variety of services, including:

  • Cleanings and checkups  – Regularly scheduled cleanings and checkups can help identify odontalgia-causing problems early on, so they can be treated before becoming severe.
  • Fillings – If tooth decay is the cause of your odontalgia, a filling may be used to fill in the decayed area and prevent further damage.
  • Root canal – If odontalgia is caused by an infection or abscessed tooth, a root canal may be necessary to remove the affected pulp and prevent further decay.
  • Crowns – Damaged teeth that are causing odontalgia may require a dental crown to protect them from further harm.
  • Periodontal treatment – If odontalgia is due to gum disease, periodontal treatment may be needed to restore the health of your gums.
  • Surgery – In some cases, odontalgia may require surgery to repair jaw or face injuries.

No matter what the cause of odontalgia is, treatment is available to help.

Schedule an Appointment at Columbia Smiles Today for Pain Relief

Don’t let odontalgia take over your life. Seek help from the experienced team at Columbia Smiles and experience relief as soon as possible. Call us today at 410.690.4855 or reach out online to book an appointment.

Toothaches: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

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A toothache is pain in or around a tooth.

A toothache is often the result of dental cavities (tooth decay) or an infection or irritation of the tooth. Tooth decay is often caused by poor dental hygiene. It may also be partly inherited. In some cases, toothache may be caused due to grinding teeth or other dental trauma.

Sometimes, pain that is felt in the tooth is actually due to pain in other parts of the body. This is called referred pain. For example, an earache may sometimes cause tooth pain.

A toothache may occur because of:

  • Abscessed tooth
  • Earache
  • Injury to the jaw or mouth
  • Heart attack (can include jaw pain, neck pain, or toothache)
  • Sinus infection
  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth trauma such as wear, injury, or fracture

You can use over-the-counter pain medicine if you can’t see your dentist or primary health care provider right away.

Your dentist will first diagnose the source of the pain and recommend treatment. You may be prescribed antibiotics, pain medicines, or other drugs.

Use good oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay. A low-sugar diet is recommended along with regular flossing, brushing with fluoride toothpaste, and regular professional cleaning. Sealants and fluoride applications by the dentist are important for preventing tooth decay. Also, tell your dentist if you think you might grind your teeth.

Seek medical care if:

  • You have a severe toothache
  • You have a toothache that lasts longer than a day or two
  • You have fever, earache, or pain when opening your mouth wide

Note: The dentist is an appropriate person to see for most causes of toothaches. However, if the problem is referred pain from another location, you may need to see your primary provider.

Your dentist will examine your mouth, teeth, gums, tongue, throat, ears, nose, and neck. You may need dental x-rays. Your dentist may recommend other tests, depending on the suspected cause.

Your dentist will ask questions about your medical history and symptoms, including:

  • When did the pain start?
  • Where is the pain located, and how bad is it?
  • Does the pain wake you up at night?
  • Are there things that make the pain worse or better?
  • What medicines are you taking?
  • Do you have any other symptoms, such as fever?
  • Have you had any injuries?
  • When was your last dental checkup?

Treatment will depend on the source of the pain. They may include removing and filling cavities, root canal therapy, or extraction of the tooth. If the toothache is related to trauma, such as grinding, your dentist may recommend a special appliance to protect the teeth from wear.

Pain – tooth or teeth

  • Tooth anatomy

Benko KR. Emergency dental procedures. In: Roberts JR, Custalow CB, Thomsen TW, eds. Roberts and Hedges’ Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine and Acute Care. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 64.

Page C, Pitchford S. Drug use in dentistry. In: Page C, Pitchford S, eds. Dale’s Pharmacology Condensed. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 28.

Updated by: Michael Kapner, DDS, General Dentistry, Norwalk Medical Center, Norwalk CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

Teeth hurt. Why? | Blog Dental Designer

Almost everyone has suffered from a toothache at least once in their life. This is a very common pathology, since caries, pulpitis and other dental diseases are also very common. Toothache can have different strength and duration, and it depends on what the dental treatment will be in each case.

Causes of pain

Tooth pain can occur for a variety of reasons.

Caries. This is the most common cause of toothache. Caries is an infection that first affects the enamel, and then the dentin and deeper tissues of the tooth. As it progresses, it can cause pain of varying intensity. They can disturb both constantly and from time to time, for example, while eating too hot or cold food. That is why even minimal pain is a reason to go to the dentist. Dentistry in St. Petersburg or any other city is a service available to everyone, so do not neglect your health and endure pain.

Pulpitis. This term refers to inflammation of the nerve of the pulp or, in other words, the root of the tooth. Pulpitis often occurs as a complication of caries. The pain is quite intense and annoys the person both day and night. In this case, you should immediately make an appointment with a doctor.

Periodontitis. In this case, inflammation affects the tissues around the root. The pain is sharp and very strong. In this case, immediate medical attention is needed, as the infection can penetrate deep into the bone.

Pericoronitis. This is the pain that occurs when wisdom teeth erupt. Very often, this process is accompanied by inflammation of the soft tissues and, as a result, pain sensations of varying intensity. Often this ends with the removal of the tooth surgically.

Gingivitis. If you think you have a toothache, take a close look at your gums. Their inflammation can also cause discomfort. With gingivitis, the gums turn red and swell, and in addition to pain, a person is also worried about bad breath.

What should I do if I have a toothache?

Toothache is a reason to consult a dentist. However, sometimes it is not possible to get to the doctor on the same day. In this case, you can relieve pain at home. It is best to use non-steroidal painkillers for this. Usually we are talking about medicines containing nimesulide, ibuprofen, paracetamol. You can also alleviate the condition with the help of folk recipes. For example, ordinary unsalted lard, which must be applied to an aching tooth, helps well. Rinsing also gives good results. Usually, sage is brewed for this purpose or a few tablespoons of soda are diluted in water.

Indications for treatment

Specialist examination and treatment is necessary for different types of toothache:

Acute. It often comes on suddenly and increases in intensity over several hours.

Aching. In this case, it is not as intense as aching, but it constantly worries. The tooth can whine both during the day and at night, almost without stopping.

Pulsating. Such pain is quite penetrating and feels like a throbbing.

Short term. As a rule, it occurs as a response to some kind of stimulus. Often we are talking about sweet foods, as well as cold or hot foods.

Pain when pressed. Sometimes pain occurs only when you press on the tooth, for example, when biting or chewing.


If you have a toothache, you should definitely consult a doctor. He determines the cause of the pathology and prescribes the necessary treatment. But unfortunately, some therapies may not be suitable for a particular person. These are the following states:

• allergic to anesthesia, filling material or other substances used during treatment;
• epilepsy and severe mental disorders;
• problems with blood clotting;
• severe pathologies of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems;
• oncological diseases;
• pregnancy and lactation in women.

The listed contraindications are not absolute. If a particular treatment is not suitable for a person, then the doctor selects an individual scheme for him. In any case, consultation with a specialist and detailed diagnostics is necessary.


Toothache is the body’s signal that something is wrong with your teeth. For this reason, regular visits to the dental clinic can be called the main prevention of discomfort. During the examination, the specialist will be able to identify the problem in time and carry out the necessary treatment. You also need to have it professionally cleaned regularly. Removal of plaque and tartar helps in the prevention of diseases of the teeth and gums, and therefore is the best prevention of toothache.

To avoid discomfort in the oral cavity, it is recommended to follow the rules of hygiene at home as well. Don’t forget to brush your teeth in the morning and in the evening, and additionally use dental floss, special brushes and an irrigator.

Diet plays an important role in oral health. The abundance of sugar-containing foods in the diet most negatively affects the condition of the teeth and is one of the main causes of caries. That is why it is recommended to limit sweets. But dairy products, fresh vegetables and fruits, on the contrary, help to cleanse and strengthen the enamel, so they should be consumed regularly.

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The term “Tooth pain” has a scientific definition – odontalgia.
The causes of toothache are different: caries, periodontitis, colds or just nervous stress. Toothache is a painful disease.
Basically, of course, the cause of toothache is poor dental care (poor hygiene, rare visits to the dentist). The most common of all problems is caries. At an early stage of caries, the outer hard layer of the tooth, enamel and dentin, is destroyed. The tooth begins to react to hot, cold, sweet. Often patients at this stage resort to analgesics and rinses. The pain subsides, but the cause remains. Postponing a visit to the dentist at this stage, the patient will bring his tooth to pulpitis (when other, more complex manipulations and other financial injections are required). The pain during pulpitis is of an increasing nature, and spreads to neighboring teeth, even reaching the temple or ear. By drowning out the pain even at this stage, the patient condemns himself to the diagnosis of periodontitis, which, if left untreated, can lead not only to tooth loss, but also provoke complications from the heart, kidneys, and joints.

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The term “toothache” has a scientific definition – odontalgia.
The causes of toothache are different: caries, periodontitis, colds or just nervous stress. Toothache is a painful disease.
Basically, of course, the cause of toothache is poor dental care (poor hygiene, rare visits to the dentist). The most common of all problems is caries. At an early stage of caries, the outer hard layer of the tooth, enamel and dentin, is destroyed.