Tooth Pain

tooth pain

If you are experiencing tooth pain, the information below will provide you with information on what to do, and how you can try to ease the pain:

Momentary sensitivity to hot or cold foods

If the discomfort lasts only momentarily, sensitivity to hot and cold foods does not generally require dental treatment. The sensitivity may be caused by a loose restoration or by minimal gum recession which exposes small areas of the root surface.


Try using toothpastes that contain fluoride. Brush as instructed by your dentist or hygienist with a soft brush; brushing sideways wears away exposed root surfaces. If you still experience sensitivity, then you need to see your dentist.

Sensitivity to hot or cold foods after dental treatment

Dental treatment may cause reversible inflammation of the dental nerve (pulp), causing temporary sensitivity.


Wait four to six weeks. If the pain persists or worsens, see your dentist.

Sharp pain when biting down on food

There are several possible causes of this type of pain: decay, a loose filling, or a crack (fracture) of the tooth. There may be irreversible damage to the pulp.


See your dentist for evaluation. If the problem is a cracked tooth, your dentist may refer you to an endodontist (root canal specialist) for evaluation and treatment. Cracked tooth pain comes from damage to the inner tissue of the tooth (dentin) and the pulp. Endodontists are dentists who specialize in pulp-related procedures. Endodontic treatment, also known as root canal treatment, can relieve that pain.

Lingering pain after eating hot or cold foods

This probably means the pulp has been damaged by deep decay or physical trauma.

What To Do

See your endodontist for a consultation and treatment.

Constant and severe pain and pressure, swelling of gum, and sensitivity to touch

A tooth may have become abscessed, causing the surrounding tissue and bone to become inflamed and infected.

What To Do

See your endodontist for evaluation and treatment to relieve the pain. Take over-the-counter analgesics until you see the endodontist.

Dull ache and pressure in upper teeth and jaw

The pain of a sinus headache is often felt in the cheek and teeth. Grinding of teeth, a condition known as bruxism, can also cause this type of ache.

What To Do

For sinus headache, try over-the-counter analgesics or sinus medicine. For bruxism, consult your dentist. If pain is severe and chronic, see your physician or endodontist for evaluation.

Chronic pain in head, neck, or ear

Sometimes pulp-damaged teeth cause pain in other parts of the head and neck, but other dental or medical problems may also be responsible.

What To Do

See your endodontist for evaluation. If the problem is not related to a specific tooth, then your endodontist will refer you to an appropriate dental specialist or a medical specialist.

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