Tooth Nerve Pain: Causes, Pain Relief and Remedies

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The insides of your tooth are filled with soft material called pulp, made up of nerves, blood vessels and tissues. When these nerves in tooth, which are some of the most sensitive in your body, get irritated or infected, they can be extremely painful. Tooth nerve pain can feel like a sharp, stabbing pain or a dull ache. If the nerves in your tooth are exposed, certain foods and drinks can possibly trigger massive pain.

What are the causes of tooth nerve pain?

Broadly classifies, tooth nerve pain is caused due to any of the below two reasons.

  1. Sensitivity in pulpal region


    If you experience nerve pain in just one tooth, the problem could be because the pulp is affected. Any of the below could cause a tooth nerve pain due to pulpal sensitivity:

    • If you’ve cracked, chipped or have a broken tooth

    • If you have a tooth decay or infection

    • If you’ve had a tooth filling recently

    • If clenching and grinding your teeth causes excessive pressure.

  2. Dentinal sensitivity


    This type of sensitivity or nerve pain in tooth is not focused on just one tooth and is more likely to be across multiple teeth. When the outer layer of your teeth or tooth enamel erodes due to any reason, and your teeth comes in contact with foods of extreme temperatures, it could irritate the nerve endings in the dentin layer of your tooth. Below are some reasons why dentinal sensitivity occurs:

    • When you use teeth whitening products

    • Receding gums

    • Cavities that cause erosion.

How do you know you have tooth nerve pain?

Some of the common symptoms that you’d experience if you have pain in your tooth nerve are:

  • When you feel pressure or pain on the outside of your tooth.

  • Swelling of gums around the tooth

  • Foul taste in your mouth

  • Bad breath

  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks.

Home remedies for tooth nerve pain relief

Here are some tips to alleviate the pain and provide tooth nerve pain relief:

  1. Use a toothpaste that is designed for sensitive teeth. Brush the teeth and the area around it gently.

  2. Avoid eating and drinking foods that are too hot or cold.

  3. Don’t neglect your oral health and hygiene. Ensure that you brush daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use the Oral-B ProHealth Manual Toothbrush, which is designed to be gentle on the gums and enamel. With its Power Tip bristles, it helps in cleaning areas of your mouth and teeth that are hard to reach, and its perfectly angled Criss-Cross bristles remove up to 90% plaque.

  4. Rinse your mouth with a mixture of warm water and salt after meals and don’t forget to floss. This will help get rid of food particles that can potentially cause tooth decay. Oral-B’s Essential Mint Dental Floss is crafted with shred-resistant technology, and slides easily between your teeth to provide effective cleaning.

  5. Apply a cold compress on the side of your cheek or jaw.

  6. Dab a little clove oil on a cotton ball and apply to the area. Clove is known for its antiseptic properties and can help to numb the pain and inflammation.

Treatments for tooth nerve pain relief

When you experience any kind of tooth pain that is severe and doesn’t seem to subside after resorting to home remedies, you must visit your dentist. There are many treatment options available for tooth nerve pain, and depending on the severity and cause of the pain, your dentist will suggest the best treatment option for relief. The two most common ones are mentioned below:

  1. Tooth fillings:

    When you have tooth pain due to a cavity, then your dentist will conduct a simple procedure called a tooth filling wherein he will numb the area, remove any of the decayed tooth material and replace it with dental filling.

  2. Root canal:

    When the pain is caused due to excessive tooth decay, a root canal is the best option. This includes removing the pulp and cleaning the entire pulpal cavity, and finally sealing it.

Tooth nerve damage is not something you want to have and the best way to avoid it is by taking care of your dental health and maintaining proper oral care. Brushing, flossing and rinsing are vital steps for maintaining your oral health. If you experience tooth pain of any kind, be sure to visit your dentist at the soonest. Chances are the damage isn’t extensive and you could be saved from something far more potentially serious.