How Can I Relieve Tooth Nerve Pain?


What is Tooth Nerve Pain?

Tooth nerve pain, more commonly known as toothaches, can be a painful and distressing experience. It occurs when the nerves inside your teeth are either inflamed, irritated or damaged, allowing external stimuli such as heat and cold to reach the nerve endings of your teeth.

From sudden/mild toothaches that cause on-and-off pain to severe toothaches that cause constant pain and throbbing, tooth nerve pain requires urgent dental assistance as soon as possible. Left untreated, this pain can worsen, leaving you in excruciating discomfort that can affect your daily life.

If you have a toothache that’s showing no signs of slowing down, a trip to the dentist should be the first thing you do. At Wyndham Dental, our team is here to help relieve your pain. We also offer emergency dental appointments if you are suffering from a severe toothache. 

What Causes Tooth Nerve Pain?

Toothaches are often a sign of underlying dental problems. Among the causes of tooth nerve pain are: 

  • Tooth Decay – Dental caries, better known as dental cavities, are among the top causes of dental pain. Caused by plaque (bacteria) build-up on your teeth, it can turn the sugar in food and drinks into acid. This acid can slowly damage your teeth, eroding the tooth and creating holes. Left untreated, decay can spread deeper into the tooth’s nerve, causing pain. 
  •  A Cracked Tooth – Your tooth may develop tiny cracks or fractures on the enamel, which can irritate the nerve endings of your tooth, causing pain when biting or chewing. If a cracked tooth causes tooth nerve pain, you may experience pain that may come and go. 
  • Dental Injuries/Trauma – Injuries to the mouth may cause cracks, fractures or chips in your teeth. When this happens, it can expose the sensitive nerve endings of your teeth, leading to sharp and persistent pain. 
  • Gum Disease – When gum tissues are inflamed or infected from gum disease, they can recede, exposing your tooth roots. Infection from gum disease can spread deeper into the tooth root, causing the pulp to become inflamed and infected. At this point, you may need a root canal treatment to save your tooth. 
  • Dental Abscess – If a tooth infection penetrates through the surrounding bone and reaches the gum tissue, it can lead to a dental abscess. It can cause a swelling filled with pus 24 hours after a severe tooth infection or develop into a chronic swelling with an open, draining sinus. Once again, you may need a root canal treatment to ease the pain. 
  • Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) – Teeth grinding and clenching can exert excessive pressure on your teeth. This pressure can then lead to tooth wear, causing nerve irritation, pain and sensitivity. 
  • Sinus Infections – When sinusitis occurs, it can exert pressure on the tooth roots close to the sinuses, causing tooth nerve pain. 

What are the Symptoms of Tooth Nerve Pain?

  • Persistent toothaches
  • Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures 
  • Discomfort or pain while chewing or biting down on food 
  • Pain that radiates to the jaw, ear and head
  • Swelling and pus around the affected tooth
  • A bad or foul taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums that leave your tooth roots exposed 
  • Bleeding from your tooth or gums 
  • Your tooth is turning a dark or greyish colour

How Can I Relieve Tooth Nerve Pain?

While seeking professional dental care should be your first priority, you can do the following for temporary relief from dental pain: 

  • Gently rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. It is a natural disinfectant that can help with inflammation. Mix half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth at regular intervals.
  • Take over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate the pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Apply a cold compress or an ice pack over the outside of your cheek near the affected area. This can reduce swelling and numb the area. You can use an ice pack, a gel-based compress or even a frozen bag of fruit or vegetables.  
  • Avoid eating hot or cold foods and beverages that could trigger pain and sensitivity. 
  • Lay down with your head propped up on a pillow. Elevating your head higher than the rest of your body can prevent blood from pooling in your head and mouth while increasing circulation and decreasing swelling. Lying flat may worsen the pain. 

Dental Treatments for Tooth Nerve Pain 

Seeking prompt dental care when faced with tooth nerve pain is important. When you come to us in pain, we will first assess the situation to identify the underlying cause, after which we will address the issue with the most suitable dental treatment. 

Some dental procedures we offer at Wyndham Dental include: 

  • Dental Fillings – If tooth decay is causing pain and hasn’t progressed as far as the nerve, we will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill the cavity with a filling. 
  • Tooth Extraction – Extensive damage to the tooth nerve may require tooth extraction. We will discuss tooth replacement solutions, such as implants, to restore the gap in your smile. 
  • Root Canal Treatment – When decay or infection has reached the nerve but the tooth is still salvageable, we will perform a root canal to save your tooth. This procedure involves removing the infected nerve, cleaning and disinfecting the root canal, and then sealing it to prevent further infection. A dental crown may be placed on top of the treated tooth to provide strength, and protection and restore functionality.  
  • Gum Disease Treatment – If gum disease is causing tooth nerve damage, we will carry out a professional dental cleaning or other gum treatment procedures to remove plaque and tartar to treat gum inflammation and infection. 
  • Grinding Appliances – If teeth grinding and clenching are causing tooth pain, we will recommend custom-made grinding appliances, such as a night guard, to keep your teeth from grinding or clenching together. 

At Wyndham Dental, we understand that tooth nerve pain can be a distressing situation to find yourself in. If you experience any symptoms of tooth nerve pain mentioned above, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team. After all, identifying and addressing the cause behind dental pain is important to ease the pain. So, whether your toothache is caused by dental decay or trauma, our emergency dental services can help relieve your pain fast. Simply contact us or schedule an appointment.