Teeth are composed of an inner core of nerves and blood vessels, surrounded by a protective layer of enamel, calcium etc. In the normal course, the nerves are not exposed to any stimulus. Therefore, you do not experience pain or sensitivity.
Toothache is experienced when the nerves are exposed to the outside. This happens when the enamel is damaged. If the damage is small, normally one only experiences sensitivity. When there is greater damage due to caries, a larger portion of the nerve is exposed and this gives rise to more severe pain. Other causes of toothache are when there is damage or infection in the gums (which exposes the nerves), and due to referred pain from elsewhere.
The only way to completely cure a toothache is to consult your dentist who will examine the tooth to find out if it is just sensitivity or something more severe. The tooth can be filled if there is a cavity or in more severe cases a Root Canal Treatment can be done. In extreme cases the tooth may have to be extracted entirely.
Toothaches are caused by variety of reasons like dental decay, broken or cracked tooth, abscess, inflamed tooth nerve, pericoronitis, sinusitis, acute periodontal disease then on. Treatment can rely on the explanation for the pain and the way serious the injury is. However, regardless of the cause is, you may undoubtedly would like painkillers to alleviate the pain.
Before effective pain medication was invented, people throughout history have tried many ways to ease their pain. One of the grossest and most ineffective treatments was used by Egyptians. To relieve toothaches,
They would mash dead mice and blend them with some other ingredients into a paste, which was then applied to the aching tooth. Unsurprisingly, the paste didn’t aid much with the pain, but instead often caused an infection.
In ancient Egypt, those people who suffered from common ailments such as toothaches or earaches found that mice were the best remedy to sort their problems. Toothaches were very common in Egyptians due to the prevalence of sand in their food. Sand would get into almost everything, food also. Because of the grittiness of the sand, consuming it would often wear down the enamel covering the tooth, which exposed the nerves and the blood-vessels.
The Egyptians had decided that dead mice were an effective remedy for the ailments. The dead mice will be mashed into a paste and applied to the affected area. But, for severe toothaches, a dead mouse would simply be applied directly to the tooth. But, common sense tells us that this treatment cannot have worked in curing the aching tooth, and it most likely elevated the problems. Applying rotten rat tissue to exposed nerves and blood vessels is a better way to turn a tiresome pain into a full-blown infection.
Ancient Egyptians also assumed a toothache could be cured by making a type of 'Dead mouse paste' with other herbs and ingredients, while in certain parts of England, half a dead mouse was used to treat warts too.
Even the ancient romans, and affluent families had slaves clean their mouths using small sticks of wood and tooth powder. Such powders could include burned eggshell, bay-leaves and myrrh. These powders could also include more unusual ingredients, such as burned heads of mice and lizard livers. Earth worms marinated in vinegar were used for a mouth wash, and urine was thought of as a gum strengthener. All these could be strange but existed in ancient times.