10 questions about toothache answered by Saskatoon dentists


The most common cause of toothache in Canada, as in many other countries, is dental decay or cavities. The number of patients we see with tooth sensitivity or toothache caused by enamel erosion increases significantly right after Halloween, Christmas, or other holidays where lots of sweets are consumed and regular dental hygiene routines are interrupted for travel. To protect your teeth during the holidays, read these 10 common questions about toothache answered by our dentists at BLOK Dental Studio in Saskatoon!

  1. What causes a toothache?

Toothaches can be caused by various factors, including tooth decay, gum disease, dental abscess, cracked teeth, or teeth grinding.


  1. What is the difference between tooth sensitivity and a toothache?
    Tooth sensitivity is a brief, sharp discomfort triggered by specific stimuli, such as hot or cold, while a toothache is typically a continuous, often severe pain that can result from various dental issues, such as decay or infection. Both conditions warrant dental attention for proper diagnosis and management.
  2. Can tooth sensitivity cause a toothache?

Yes, tooth sensitivity, which can be caused by exposed dentin, may lead to a toothache, especially when triggered by hot, cold, or acidic substances.


  1. Can a toothache go away on its own?

While minor toothaches may sometimes subside on their own, persistent or severe pain often indicates an underlying dental issue that requires professional treatment.


  1. When should I go to a dental clinic for a toothache?

If a toothache persists for more than a day, if it is severe, or if it is accompanied by other symptoms like swelling or fever, it’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible.


  1. How are toothaches diagnosed by dental care professionals?

Dentists perform a thorough examination, which may include X-rays to determine the cause of a toothache. They may also ask about symptoms, triggers, and any recent dental history.

  1. Why is it dangerous to ignore a toothache?

Ignoring a toothache can lead to more serious dental issues, such as abscess, extensive decay, and the potential loss of the affected tooth. It can also have systemic health implications if infections spread. That is why you need to be careful when treating only the pain and not the cause of the problem. 


  1. How can I relieve a toothache at home?

Home remedies should only be used to relieve pain while waiting to see a dentist. In the meantime, you could try rinsing with warm saltwater, using a cold compress, over-the-counter pain relievers, and avoiding hot or cold foods. Be careful not to treat the pain alone and let the cause of the pain persist and worsen. 


  1. What can I do to prevent toothaches?

Maintaining good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups and cleanings, can help prevent toothaches. Avoiding excessive sugar consumption also plays a crucial role.


  1. What is the best treatment for toothaches?

Treatments for toothaches vary depending on the underlying cause but may include dental fillings, root canal therapy, tooth extractions, or gum treatments, among other cosmetic dental treatments.

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