A toothache, also known as odontalgia is an aching pain
in or around a tooth. In most cases toothaches are caused
by problems in the tooth or jaw, such as cavities, gum disease,
the emergence of wisdom teeth, a marginally cracked tooth, infected
dental pulp, jaw disease, or exposed tooth root. Causes
of a toothache may also be a symptom of diseases of the
heart, such as angina or a myocardial infarction, due to referred
pain. The severity of a toothache can range from
a mild discomfort to excruciating pain (more common in the second
molars, esp on the left mandible), which can be experienced either
chronically or sporadically. This pain can often be aggravated somewhat
by chewing or by hot or cold temperature. Toothaches are sometimes
caused by an irritation of the pulp, known as pulpitis. This can
be either reversible or irreversible. Irreversible pulpitis can
be identified by sensitivity and pain lasting longer than fifteen
seconds, although an exception to this may exist if the tooth has
been recently operated on. Teeth affected by irreversible pulpitis
will need either a root canal or an extraction.
Dental caries, also known as tooth decay or cavity, is a disease
wherein bacterial processes damage hard tooth structure (enamel,
dentin, and cementum). These tissues progressively break down, producing
dental caries (cavities, holes in the teeth). Two groups of bacteria
are responsible for initiating caries: Streptococcus mutans and
Lactobacillus. If left untreated, the disease can lead to pain,
tooth loss, infection, and, in severe cases, death.
Tooth decay is caused by specific types of acid-producing bacteria
that cause damage in the presence of fermentable carbohydrates such
as sucrose, fructose, and glucose. The mineral content of teeth
is sensitive to increases in acidity from the production of lactic
A tooth abscess or root abscess is pus enclosed in the tissues
of the jaw bone at the tip of an infected tooth. Usually the abscess
originates from a bacterial infection that has accumulated in the
soft pulp of the tooth. Abscesses typically originate from dead
pulp tissue, usually caused by untreated tooth decay, cracked teeth
or extensive periodontal disease. A failed root canal treatment
may also create a similar abscess. It may also develop from bacteria
entering a tooth filling and multiplying. A pus taste may also develop.
There are three types of dental abscess. A gingival abscess
that involves only the gum tissue, without affecting either the
tooth or the periodontal ligament. A periapical abscess
starts in the dental pulp. A periodontal abscess
begins in the supporting bone and tissue structures of the teeth.
Taken all in all, Mercurius is probably more often indicated in
toothache than any other remedy. Its special indications are a pulsating
toothache, due to inflamed dentine or to periostitis of the sockets;
it is worse at night and in damp weather. The teeth feel elongated
and sore, and this soreness affects the whole of the jaw and face,
and is worse from warmth, somewhat relieved by gentle rubbing of
the face. It is the chief remedy in painful ulcerations at the roots
of the teeth and for pain in the hollow teeth, the gums are swollen,
ulcerated and retracted from the teeth, and there is usually an
offensive odor from the mouth.
This is an excellent remedy in unbearable toothache affecting a
whole row of teeth occurring in paroxysms, with pains radiating
to the ears. The special features are the intolerance of pain, aggravation,
from warmth. It is worse during and after eating warm food, and
especially from drinking coffee.
Has toothache from inflammation of dental pulp. The pains are burning
and throbbing, worse at night, worse on contact, as in chewing and
in the open air. There is a red hot face and great nervous excitability.
This remedy will often remove the most severe pains of toothache
which almost drive the patient frantic. It is a stinging, jerking,
intermittent pain, worse while chewing, worse from warm drink, and
entirely relieved for a time by holding cold water in the mouth,
returning when the water becomes warm. It suits especially hypersensitive,
#Plantago major. [Plan]
Hale says that of all remedies in toothache none can compare with
Plantago, and Hughes supports this statement. The teeth feel elongated
and sore and sensitive to touch, with swollen cheeks. The pains
are periodic, easily excited, even affecting sound teeth; they are
worse lying on the affected side, and sometimes these stabbing and
boring pains become very severe.
This remedy suits especially abscesses about the roots of the teeth
and dental fistulae; the pains are worse from eating warm food or
or when cold air gets into the mouth; they are worse at night and
the teeth feel loose.
#Calcarea fluorica. [Calc-f]
This remedy produces a roughness of the teeth a decay of the enamel.
Dr. R. S. Copeland claims to have produced this condition of the
decay of the enamel in a patient for whom he prescribed the remedy
for catarrh. It is useful in flaking off of the enamel and deficiency
#Calcarea phosphorica. [Calc-p]
With this remedy there is slow development, and rapid decay of the
teeth. It suits dental troubles in flabby, emaciated children who
open posterior fontanelles, and are slow in learning to walk.
Magnesia carbonica is especially useful in toothache or pregnancy,
and Dr. Leavitt mentions Sepia as almost specific in this condition.
With this remedy the gums are unhealthy and retracted, and there
is a tendency to decay of the teeth. They turn black and crumble
as soon as they appear, a condition found in sycotic children. It
is a splendid remedy for gnawing in the roots of decayed teeth,
affecting a whole row, and is especially adapted to old women who
have a mouthful of painful stumps.
This remedy has premature decay of milk teeth; they become yellow,
and dark and then decay. It also has aching pains in diseased teeth.
Terebinthina is here complementary especially it the mouth be sore.
This is an excellent remedy in tearing, beating pains in carious
teeth extending to the malar bone of the affected side. Painful
jerks in decayed teeth worse from cold or cold water. The pains
set in after eating, smoking or retiring to test, driving the patient
from bed their severity. The provings of Spigelia show that it has
a remarkable influence over the nerves of th face, jaws and teeth.
This is a very useful remedy for bleeding after extraction of teeth,
and for pain and swelling from wearing false teeth, or pains produced
by filing or filling or excavating teeth. The sensation is one of