About Your Tooth

Your tooth consists of two main parts:
Anatomy of the Tooth

  • The Crown, which is that part of the tooth above the gum and visible in your mouth;
  • The Root(s), which is that part of the tooth that lies beneath the gum and is surrounded by bone. Inside each root is a channel that runs the length of the tooth called the root canal. This contains the pulp (nerves, blood vessels, and soft tissue) and is often referred to as the “nerve” of the tooth.

Immediate Post-treatment Care Guides

For the first few days after treatment the tooth may feel a little ‘achy’, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure.

This discomfort is sometimes caused by the fact that we have instrumented and disturbed the infected area just outside the end of the roots and the pressure of applying the root-filling. This can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications.

Evidence shows that taking an anti-inflammatory just before and after the treatment (e.g. 400 mg Ibuprofen, “Nurofen Plus”), or if you have a medical condition that precludes you taking his type of painkiller (e.g. asthma, gastric ulcer), then 1000mg Paracetomol will help in minimising the discomfort.

If you have had endodontic treatment, download Endo61 post-treatment information here:


Others Causes of ‘Toothache’

Other causes of toothache

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This generally does not signal a major problem. The sensitivity may be caused by a loose filling or by gum recession that exposes small areas of the root surface (dentine). Try using ‘sensitive formula’ toothpastes. If this is unsuccessful, see your dentist.

Dental work may inflame the pulp inside the tooth, causing temporary sensitivity. Wait 4 to 6 weeks. If the pain persists or worsens, see your dentist.

This probably means the pulp has been damaged by deep decay or physical trauma. See your general dentist who may need to refer you to an Endodontist to save the tooth.

There are several possible causes of this: a loose filling or a crack in the tooth. This may damage to the pulp tissue inside the tooth. See your general dentist for initial evaluation. If the problem is a cracked tooth, your dentist may need to send you to an Endodontist to treat the dying pulp, followed by a crown. The prognosis of the tooth is determined by the extent of the crack.

A tooth may have an abscess causing the surrounding bone and soft tissues to become infected. Your general dentist will need to immediately assess the extent of the infection and then may refer you an Endodontist to try and save the tooth. Take over-the-counter analgesics until you see the Endodontist.

Pain in upper back teeth (the premolars and molars) may be caused by sinusitis (result of a viral cold or influenza) mimicking toothache. For sinus headache/pain, try over-the-counter analgesics or decongestant sinus medications and see your GP. If persistent then consult your general dentist who may need to investigate further.

Grinding of teeth (a condition known as ‘bruxism’), or periodontal infection (in the gum and surrounding jaw bone) may also cause this type of ache. Consult with your general dentist to identify the cause.