Toothache is pain in the area of your jaw and face.
It usually happens when the inside of a tooth becomes irritated and inflamed.
Inside the tooth
In the middle of every tooth, there is space containing dental pulp. Dental pulp is a soft, spongy tissue containing sensitive nerves and blood vessels.
The pulp cavity is surrounded by layers of hard tissue to protect it. The outermost layer is called enamel and is harder than bone.
Toothache occurs when the pulp inside your tooth gets inflamed (known as pulpitis). This is often caused by dental decay that results from poor oral hygiene, or it is sometimes caused by infection (see Causes).
Dental decay is when bacteria in your mouth form plaque and break down the enamel of your tooth. This can lead to holes (cavities) developing in the tooth, which expose the nerves underneath and cause toothache.
If you have toothache, it is important that you see your dentist as soon as possible to have it treated. Treatment depends on what is causing the problem.
For example, if toothache is caused by dental decay, your dentist will take out the decayed area and replace it with a filling.
If toothache is left untreated, the pulp inside your tooth will die and become infected. This will lead to a dental abscess (a lump containing pus) forming, causing severe and continuous throbbing pain. In serious cases a dental abcess can lead to blood poisoning.