A broken tooth might have exposed nerve that’s extra sensitive to certain foods and temperatures.

Throbbing Tooth Pain: Causes and Treatments

Toothache and pain are annoying and uncomfortable. But how do you know when it’s serious?

More often than not, toothache or tooth pain is a sign that more serious damage is taking place to your oral health.

Typically caused by infections or inflammations of the tooth, the problem can get worse if left untreated – trust us, we know.

If you are experiencing severe pain – do not wait. Toothache that lasts more than 2 days is serious.

Call 020 8224 7562 to book an emergency appointment.

See a dentist now if…

  1. Your toothache has lasted more 2 days
  2. Throbbing pain does not go away after taking painkillers
  3. You have a high temperature
  4. Experience pain when biting
  5. Had red or swollen gums
  6. Have a bad taste in your mouth/bad breath
  7. Your cheek or jaw is swollen

Do not go to the doctor (GP), they will be unable to help you as this will require professional dental treatment and intervention.

To see us out of hours simply call us on 020 8224 7562.

If you do not have a local dentist, we are happy to accept new patients. However, if you are looking for NHS covered care, call 111, who will advise you on what to do next. But please note, even in these cases you may be required to pay for your appointment.

When t go to A&E!

  • If the area around your neck or eye is swollen
  • The swelling in your mouth is making it difficult to breathe, swallow or speak

What not to do when experiencing a toothache

  • Eat or drink foods that are sweet or very hot or cold.
  • Do not smoke. This has the potential to worsen some dental problems like infections.

Dentist wearing eyeglasses gloves and mask examining a patient teeth with a dental probe and a mirror in a clinic box with equipment in the background

Causes of toothache and tooth pain

Tooth decay and cavities are the biggest known contributors for causing toothache.

However, throbbing tooth pain is also known to be caused by an infection taking place in the tooth or even surrounding gums.

Other causes include:

  • Decay
  • Abscess
  • Cracked and damaged teeth
  • Loose or broken fillings
  • Infections
  • Erupted wisdom teeth
  • Problems with braces

Signs you need emergency dental care

30% of adults say they regularly experience dental pain. –

Persistent sharp pain:

Serious oral issues like abscesses can cause a significant amount of pain that can be alleviated slightly with over-the-counter toothache remedies. If these have no effect whatsoever, it is recommended to visit an emergency dentist to relieve the pain.

When applying pressure there is extreme pain:

If you experience agony when you touch your tooth, or when you bite down on it, this can be a sign of a critical cavity or a defective restoration. Either of these problems will require urgent treatment.

Bleeding gums/inflammation:

If any blood is seeping from your gums that is accompanied by swelling, this could be an indication of the serious periodontal disease forming or the beginning of an infection forming.

Bad/weird taste in the mouth:

A bad odour that is lingering in the mouth could be a sign that a tooth is infected or seriously decayed.

Swollen jaw:

If swelling occurs around the neck and jaw this can be a sign that an infection is beginning to spread to other areas in your body. This is usually a serious health complication. If infections spread to the brain it can be life-threatening.

Dental emergency tooth pain relief

For immediate pain relief from a toothache, it is always best to get the problem treated by a professional and experienced dentist.

Whilst at-home methods can be effective for relieving minor discomforts, this is often just temporary alleviation.

There is a reason for the pain and until this is amended, patients can expect to continue to experience problems with their oral health and condition.

If decay or toothache is present it will continue to cause problems and may even deteriorate your overall oral hygiene, state and health.

Our expert team of specialist dentists are on hand 24/7 to provide any form of dentistry you require, from restorative to cosmetic.

Contact us here.

Quick tips to relieve toothache at home

Please note that the advice below is for temporary pain relief, if you are in enough pain to have found this page, then we do recommend you visiting the dentist to get the problem sorted.

  • Wash with salt water to clean your mouth
  • Position ice for 15 minutes to lessen any swelling
  • Chew on the other side of your mouth
  • Take ibuprofen (following label directions)
  • Avoid acidic foods and drinks as well as chewy and sugary foods

Emergency dentists for persistent toothache symptoms

Knowing when a toothache is an emergency or not can be difficult to pinpoint.

Often when toothaches are dull aches in the mouth can be less severe and are often not classed as dental emergencies.

However, if the pain is unbearable and the toothache persists book an appointment and have the problem seen to.

Serious toothache symptoms that need immediate care are:

  • Swelling
  • Seeping puss
  • Unbearable pain

The best in Surrey

Our practice based in East Molesey receives an influx of patients from across Surrey & London.

After being recommended by a friend to visit Gentle Dental Care for a tooth filling, Dr Ali Rifai wasted no time in inspecting all my teeth and recommending a treatment for 3 other teeth that needed urgent attention. – Elie G. Kingston

Conveniently located, we are happy to accept new patients and offer them same-day options to correct and restore their smiles.






Get in touch

“It feels like an absolute blessing to be able to chew food again ‘properly’. I am so thankful…

Mrs Charlton


Fantastic Dentist, I haven't stopped recommending their care, skill and professionalism. The opening times and appointment availability is…

Georgie Sherrard

Dr Ali and his team created a Hollywood smile for me. I am absolutely thrilled. I had horrid…

Caroline Mitchell

I have been a patient of Dr Ali Rifai at The Gentle Dental Practice for a while now…

Jason Hamilton

I am completely delighted with the results of my Invisalign treatment. Thank you so much Ali for all…

Judith Pain

Dr Rifai and his staff have been looking after my mother for several years, she's in her 90s…

Paul Bennett

I had a tooth filling with Ali at The Gentle Dental Practice recently. The finished filling is amazing…

Joshua Beth

I have recently been coming here to have work on my teeth and I’ve enjoyed every moment of…

Kane Sharman

What an amazing dental practice. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. Dr Ali is great and understanding. I…

Ria Winstanley

Ali is an excellent dentist. He also cares very much for patient well being. Ali also went beyond…

lisa clark

Did a great job of straightening my teeth with invisalign treatment!

James Crisp

Amazing service! You can have a crown made whilst you wait, and no more horrible moulds!! Highly recommend…

Domenica Dilieto

I visited The practice for the first time yesterday and had emergency dental treatment. Ali was absolutely brilliant…

Emma King

I am delighted to be able to offer my thoughts regarding the dental work offered by Dr Rifai.…

Paul Stratton

Read More
Available to Chat whatsappimage