Diagnosis and Treatment
The time when pain started is an extremely important aspect in making a correct diagnosis for the cause behind it.
If the pain started while chewing a hard, food item (like a bony particle) or any after other form of trauma (fall injury etc.), it may indicate the possibility of fracture or crack in the tooth or its surrounding structures or in any filling or prosthesis associated with it. If the tooth hurting was already decayed, there may be trauma to the pulp of the tooth.
A trauma or injury to the tooth will be evaluated with the help of x-rays and clinical examination by the dentist. Depending on the extent of fracture, the tooth might need to undergo a simple filling or a root canal treatment or even an extraction (surgical removal of the tooth).
Usually a pain killer can take care of the immedicate problem. But a visit to the dentist helps in preventing further damage and infection to the injured tooth. If there is any associated bleeding from the surrounding tissues, try cleaning the area with clean sterilised cotton swab soaked in an antiseptic solution like betadine or savalon solution or otherwise apply an ice-pack.
Chronic Toothache that gets Acute - Diagnosis and Treatment
If the toothache exists in a dull form and gets worse suddenly, one should consider the possibility of the resurfacing of a chronic pulp injury (also called as acute exacerbation of ‘chronic pulpitis’) or injury to the periodontium of the tooth (acute exacerbation of ‘chronic periodontitis’).
An aching tooth is better out than in. To lose a rotting member is a gain.
~ Richard Baxter, Poetical Fragments
If the tooth is found to be infected, the dentist will usually recommend a procedure varying from pulp-capping to root canal treatment. However, if the tooth structure is found to be broken or chipped in such cases, a post & core with a root-canal treatment or a possible extraction might be considered.