If your toothache is caused by tooth decay (a cavity), your dentist will probably clean out the decayed tooth and fill the cavity. If a type of tooth infection, called an abscess, is the cause, antibiotics will probably be part of your treatment. You may also need a root canal to help prevent the infection from spreading further. In serious cases, you may need to go to a hospital for treatment.
In some cases, a jaw problem called a TMJ disorder can lead to tooth pain. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the jaw joint. Several treatments may help your TMJ problem, including stress-reduction techniques, jaw relaxation exercises, medication, or wearing a mouth protector to prevent tooth grinding. In extreme cases, surgery may be suggested. But most often, the pain associated with jaw joint problems can be treated with less invasive options.
If a non-dental infection, such as a sinus or ear infection, is the reason for your toothache, your dentist may refer you to a doctor and you may need antibiotics or other treatments.