Gentle Dental

Tooth Nerve Pain

Tooth nerve pain can manifest as a dull ache or a sharp or stabbing sensation in a tooth.


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Some people have a throbbing tooth pain that comes and goes while others experience a more continual pain. Over-the-counter drugs can provide some tooth nerve pain relief, but it’s important to identify why you have tooth sensitivity.

What Can Cause Tooth Nerve Pain?

A throbbing tooth can be due to several reasons which include:

  • Tooth enamel erosion
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Gum recession
  • A fractured or cracked tooth
  • Teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism)

Healthy, strong teeth and gums protect the tooth nerve, and usually, teeth are covered by enamel. When enamel becomes damaged, or gums recede, it exposes the dentin and cementum. Dentin is the layer of a tooth immediately beneath tooth enamel and is much softer and more easily damaged. Cementum is found on exposed tooth roots and is also more easily eroded or brushed away.

When enamel is damaged, and dentin or cementum is exposed, temperature changes and eating sugary or acidic foods can irritate your tooth nerve. Certain foods can trigger nerve tooth pain, and you may need to avoid the following:

  • Candy
  • Citrus fruits
  • Tomatoes
  • Pickles
  • Cookies
  • Ice cream

When eating a very hot meal, allow food to cool and avoid cold or chilled foods. It’s also helpful to avoid sugary sodas or diet soda that contains phosphoric and citric acid.

How to Treat Tooth Sensitivity?

It is important to see a dentist so we can determine why your tooth is throbbing or why you have tooth nerve pain. We can gently examine the affected tooth and, if needed, will take dental x-rays or test the tooth for sensitivity to hot and cold.

Restoring Your Tooth and Treating Bruxism

If the tooth is damaged, we can discuss suitable ways to restore it. If you have signs of gum disease, we can treat this condition, including signs of gum recession. Signs of bruxism can often be treated effectively with a custom-made nightguard. Bruxism tends to be a nocturnal habit, so wearing a nightguard prevents you from clenching and grinding during sleep. Once we are sure your teeth are healthy, we can discuss how to treat tooth sensitivity and reduce tooth nerve pain effectively.

Brushing Your Teeth Correctly

Some people damage their tooth enamel because they brush their teeth too harshly, scrubbing away the gums and tooth enamel and exposing tooth roots. Our hygienist can discuss how to brush your teeth correctly using a soft-bristled toothbrush that will not harm your teeth or gums.

Using Toothpaste for Tooth Sensitivity

Toothpaste that is specially designed for tooth sensitivity can be very effective. It works by slowly blocking the tubules in exposed dentin, preventing sensations from reaching the tooth nerve. The effect is cumulative, so you need to continue using toothpaste for sensitive teeth for several weeks to benefit fully.

Do you have any questions about tooth nerve pain treatment in Queens, NY? Would you like to schedule an appointment with the best dentists of Gentle Dental, please contact our Bayside office for a consultation at (718) 461-0100.


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