Tooth Pain Guide
What kind of tooth pain are you experiencing?
Possible problem: This generally does not signal a serious problem, unless the sensitivity remains for an extended period of time. It may be caused by minor decay, a loose filling or by minimal gum recession that exposes small areas of the root surface.
What to do: Try using toothpaste made for sensitive teeth and brush with a soft or extra-soft brush, using an up-and-down motion, never side-to-side, which wears away exposed root surfaces. If the issue persists, it's time to see a dental health practitioner.
Possible problem: It's possible that recent dental work has inflamed the pulp inside the tooth, causing this temporary symptom.
What to do: Wait two to four weeks and if the pain persists or worsens, have your dentist or endodontist check for a more serious problem.
Possible problem: This jarring symptom may be caused by decay, a loose filling or a crack in the tooth. It's also possible there is damage to the pulp tissue inside the tooth.
What to do: Get the matter evaluated by a dentist, who may refer you to an endodontist if there is pulp tissue damage. These specialists perform pulp-related procedures, such as root canals, which involve cleaning out the damaged pulp and filling and sealing the remaining space.
Possible problem: It's likely that the pulp has been irreversibly damaged by deep decay or physical trauma.
What to do: See your dentist or endodontist as soon as possible to save the tooth with root canal treatment.
Possible problem: A tooth may be abscessed, causing an infection in the surrounding tissue and bone.
What to do: See your endodontist for evaluation and treatment to relieve the pain and save the tooth. Take over-the-counter medications until you see the endodontist.
Possible problem: Grinding of teeth, known as bruxism, can cause this type of ache. The pain of a sinus headache may also be felt in the face and teeth.
What to do: For bruxism, consult your dentist. For a sinus headache, try over-the-counter medication. If the pain is severe and chronic, see your endodontist or physician for evaluation.