- 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
- If follows a tooth injury, see TRAUMA, TOOTH
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
- 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.
- Floss: Floss on either side of the painful tooth to remove any wedged food.
- Pain Medicine: Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief.
- Local Cold: Apply an ice pack to the painful jaw for 20 minutes
- Expected Course: Most minor causes of toothache resolve in less than a day.
Call Your Doctor If
- Toothache persists > 24 hours
- The toothache becomes worse or develops any of the "Call Your Dentist Now" symptoms