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Tooth Nerve Pain

People experience tooth nerve pain in different ways. Some may find their tooth nerve aches slightly, while others may experience a sudden sharp pain that feels unbearable. Everyday activities like brushing and flossing or eating and drinking specific foods and beverages can cause nerve tooth pain.

Table of contents

In this article, we will explain the following:

  • What can cause tooth nerve pain?
  • Diagnosis and treatment for tooth nerve pain relief.
  • Other remedies to try at home.

What Can Cause Tooth Nerve Pain?

Tooth Nerve PainThere are several reasons why a tooth can start to feel painful.

Dental Pulp Problems

Each tooth has a bundle of nerves in its center, in the dental pulp. If an individual tooth feels painful, there may be a problem with its dental pulp. A dental pulp can become infected and inflamed if a tooth is damaged.

Tooth nerve pain may occur in the following situations:

  1. If the tooth is chipped or cracked, or broken.
  2. Untreated tooth decay or a failing filling.
  3. Some people experience tooth nerve pain after receiving a dental filling, as it can take several days for the tooth to settle down afterward.
  4. Clenching and grinding your teeth can damage them, making them feel painful.

Other reasons include:

  • Enamel Erosion:The nerve pain in a tooth can feel more widespread and may occur if the outer layer of enamel is eroded. When enamel erosion occurs, it exposes the dentin, which consists of tubules or channels connecting directly to the tooth nerve. Teeth with enamel erosion can feel more sensitive to hot, cold, sweet, or sour stimuli. Other causes of tooth sensitivity include using teeth whitening products, having gum recession, or untreated cavities.
  • Gum Recession: Gum recession exposes tooth roots not protected with enamel, so they feel more sensitive when exposed to outside stimuli. Brushing your teeth too hard can wear away tooth enamel and gum tissue.

Diagnosis And Treatment for Tooth Nerve Pain Relief

When a tooth feels sensitive or painful, several procedures can help solve this problem. The treatment recommended will depend on our dentist’s diagnosis. When you come to see us, we can gently examine the tooth to determine the cause of your tooth nerve pain.

The most common treatments provided are dental fillings, root canal therapy, and treatment for conditions like teeth grinding and clenching. We will only recommend tooth extraction when necessary.

Dental Fillings

Often, tooth nerve pain is caused by a cavity and can be relieved by placing a simple filling. Our dentist can replace any decayed tooth structure with a suitable filling material like tooth-colored composite resin.

We can place a glass ionomer filling if the tooth root is exposed and decayed. This special material gradually releases fluoride, helping protect the tooth and eliminate sensitivity and pain.

Once the tooth settles down after treatment, it should feel far more comfortable.

Root Canal Therapy

If the tooth nerve has become infected or inflamed, we must remove it. During treatment, all the dental pulp tissue is removed, and the inner part of your tooth is thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and permanently sealed. Afterward, a dental crown is placed to protect the tooth.

An adult tooth does not need the tooth nerve to function properly, and root canal therapy can effectively cure some forms of tooth nerve pain.

Teeth Grinding and Clenching Treatment

If you have been clenching and grinding your teeth (bruxism), our dentist will prescribe a custom-made night splint to protect your teeth against further damage during sleep. You may still need other treatments, such as dental fillings or root canal therapy, to restore teeth damaged by bruxism.

Tooth Extraction

Tooth nerve pain can sometimes be due to a severely damaged tooth, and where we cannot repair and restore it. If this is the case, we will explain why a tooth extraction is necessary and discuss how you can replace the tooth later.

Other Remedies to Try at Home

We try to see people experiencing dental pain quickly, preferably on the same day. When you contact our dental office, we will schedule an appointment with our dentist, but in the meantime, there are home remedies you can try to relieve sensitivities. These include over-the-counter pain relief and warm saltwater rinses to soothe the tooth.

Maintaining healthy and strong tooth enamel can help prevent tooth nerve pain. Ensure you follow a good daily oral care routine and visit us regularly for checkups and professional dental cleanings.

Ask us about using products designed for sensitive teeth and gums or that can help protect your tooth enamel. Some toothpastes are specifically designed for this purpose, and we can discuss which might be best for your needs.

If you are considering tooth whitening and already have sensitive teeth or tooth nerve pain, please talk to us first. Teeth whitening is a procedure that can cause sensitivity, but professional whitening treatments can reduce this risk.

Contact us if You Have Tooth Nerve Pain

Healthy, strong teeth should not feel painful, so if one or more of your teeth have started to twinge uncomfortably, please get in touch with us. Often, the cause and treatment needed are straightforward and quick to provide. Leaving it untreated could allow any problems to worsen, increasing your risk of more severe dental pain or tooth loss.

Page Updated on May 24, 2024 by Dr. Victoria Kushensky, DDS (Dentist) of My New Jersey Dentist
Victoria Kushensky D.D.S

My name is Victoria Kushensky. I am a general dentist dedicated to remaining at the forefront of my field. Combining compassionate care with extensive knowledge, I offer cosmetic and general dentistry services as well as advanced root canal treatments.

I earned my Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the esteemed New York University College of Dentistry. Throughout my career, I have honed my skills in various dental procedures, ensuring effective treatment for each patient’s unique needs. I prioritize patient comfort and understanding, taking the time to thoroughly explain procedures and address any questions.

More about Dr. Kushensky

My NJ Dentist: Victoria Kushensky, DDS
385 Prospect Ave Suite 304
Hackensack, NJ 07601
(201) 298-8000