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Tooth Nerve Pain Guide

All tooth pain could be called nerve pain.    If you didn't have nerves in your teeth, you would never have pain.  

No pain sounds pretty good.   Except that pain gives you a heads up.  A  warning that something may be wrong.  Without pain dental disease could destroy your teeth without you ever knowing it. 

The pain signals we get from our nerves and our brain are helpful but not always reliable.  

Here's why

  • It is possible to have many dental or medical problems and never feel pain. Problems that are diagnose early are more easily treated and most often do not cause pain.
  • Not all pain needs treatment.  Some tooth pain will resolve without treatment.  Pain that is cause by clenching or grinding, brushing too hard or other trauma vs pain that is caused by a cavity or abscess can recover.
  • Everyone has a different pain tolerance.  What feels like a major toothache to some is not even noticeable to others.

There are many variables when diagnosing dental problems based on painful symptoms.  

Thankfully, dentists don't have to rely on symptoms alone  to diagnose and treat your dental problems.

Understanding Tooth Nerve Pain

tooth nerve pain

Mild vs Severe

Mild pain that comes and goes is less worrisome than severe pain that is more constant.  Mild nerve pain occurs when gums are receded or when a tooth nerve is traumatized.    Severe pain comes on for no reason, causes throbbing, may wake you up at night.

Describe Your Pain

Is it sporadic or constant?  Does it go away quickly or linger for hours?  Is it gradually improving or worsening?

The trend of the pain you are experiencing is important because these factors help your dentist know if and when the tooth needs treatment.  

What Makes it Hurt?

Sensitivity to cold is common and does not always require treatment.  

Pain that is caused by chewing may indicate a crack in the tooth and may eventually  require treatment.  When you bite in a certain way the crack expands and exposes the nerve.  Cracked teeth may also be cold sensitive.

Sensitivity to hot foods or liquids is usually more serious than sensitivity to cold.  

When to See Your Dentist

For severe pain that lingers for hours or wakes you up at night

For mind to moderate pain doesn't improve or progresively worsens.  

For any pain that bothers you on a daily basis.

Don't Skip Your Dental Check-Ups

Preventative dental care makes it more likely that problems will be diagnosed and treated before they cause any tooth nerve pain and when they are much easier to fix.

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