Skip directly to content


A toothache is an aching pain in or around a tooth. A toothache is generally the result of dental cavities (tooth decay) or sometimes an infection. Tooth decay is often caused by poor dental hygiene, although the tendency to get tooth decay is partly inherited.

Sometimes, pain in other locations is perceived as occurring in the teeth (this is called referred pain or radiating pain).

Common Causes:

  • Tooth decay
  • Abscessed tooth 
  • Earache 
  • Injury to the jaw or mouth 
  • Heart attack (can include jaw pain, neck pain, or toothache) 
  • Sinusitis

This pain can often be aggravated somewhat by chewing or by hot or cold temperature. An oral examination complete with X-rays can help discover the cause. Severe pain may be considered a dental emergency. If you have a toothache you should see your dentist.