Tooth Nerve Damage
July 28, 2020

Tooth pain is something that can take just about anyone by surprise, and bring even the toughest among us to our knees. When tooth pain first develops, it can make it painful and uncomfortable to eat your favorite foods, or to even enjoy a cup of ice water. As the issue worsens and the pain develops, it can grow incredibly severe. While there are plenty of over-the-counter medications that advertise relief, and a long list of old home-based remedies that are supposed to alleviate the pain naturally, severe tooth pain typically will not heal without direct support from your doctor. 

In the most severe cases, oral surgery may be necessary to treat the cause of the tooth pain—which could be due to something like nerve damage. If you are experiencing tooth pain, don’t wait to bring your concern to your dentist. The longer you wait to treat the issue, the more severe the problem will become. 

How to Identify Tooth Nerve Damage

One of the most common causes of tooth pain is nerve damage surrounding the teeth. When the nerve becomes damaged, it can become especially sensitive to any level of movement of the tooth, as well as to extremely cold or hot temperatures. This can make eating most foods very uncomfortable.

There are two primary causes of tooth nerve pain:

  • Pulpal sensitivity: This is pain caused by damage to the nerves surrounding the pulp of a single tooth. When this type of pain develops it typically will stick to one tooth. Common causes of this include a chipped or cracked tooth, tooth decay, and in some instances, can develop following dental work, including a recent tooth filling. This type of sensitivity can also develop as a result of prolonged clenching or grinding of the teeth.
  • Dental sensitivity: The other type of sensitivity is dental sensitivity, which affects more of the mouth than just surrounding one single tooth. This type of nerve damage will occur when the tooth enamel becomes damaged, potentially as a result of a chip or a crack, but also potentially as a result of erosion. This allows external stimuli to access the nerves of the teeth, which means that eating foods that are particularly hot, cold or acidic can cause severe pain throughout the mouth. One of the largest causes of dental sensitivity is the repeated use of teeth whitening products, which breaks down the enamel of the tooth and leaves your teeth open to damage.

What Will I Feel If I Have A Damaged Tooth Nerve? 

Tooth nerve pain can develop gradually over time, initially feeling like a dull ache in the mouth and gradually building into more severe discomfort. Acting on the pain early on can help to alleviate discomfort and may provide your dental surgeon with less intensive treatment options. Regular dental care, including flossing and brushing your teeth several times a day can help to prevent the development of tooth nerve pain, but sometimes the pain will develop anyways. Here are some of the most common signs of tooth nerve pain:

  • A dull ache along the gum line
  • Pain that targets a single tooth or radiates throughout the mouth
  • Discomfort that worsens after eating, especially following meals that are hot, cold, or acidic

Common Treatments for Tooth Nerve Pain

There are several potential treatment options that may be used to help address your tooth pain as a result of nerve damage. The two most common dental procedures for dealing with tooth nerve damage are fillings and root canals.

  • Filling: A filling is the most common form of dental repair. With this type of treatment, the damaged tooth is filled with a dental cement or filling. During the procedure the area surrounding the tooth is numbed, the decayed part of the tooth is removed, and the filling is used to fill-in the damaged area. This will prevent external stimuli from aggravating the nerves surrounding the tooth.
  • Root Canal: This is a more intense type of dental procedure that is utilized when pain develops as a result of a severely decayed or damaged tooth. During this procedure, the damaged nerve is entirely removed, as is the pulp surrounding the damaged tooth, and then the area is cleaned and sealed. This will allow you to continue using your tooth as normal without the experience of pain.

Additional remedies for treating nerve pain includes using specialized toothpaste that is designed to reduce sensitivity. Regular dental hygiene is the best course for prevention of tooth nerve damage, as well as the best way to alleviate the early signs of pain. 

Treating Tooth Nerve Damage at Sunrise Facial and Oral Surgery

The experts at Sunrise Facial and Oral Surgery in Melbourne and Rockledge are here to help you alleviate any pain you may be experiencing from tooth nerve damage. Dr. Schmid and Dr. Kim will take x-rays and go over what steps need to be taken to help correct, care, and heal any damage that may have happened to your tooth, or your surrounding teeth. Give us a call today to see how we can provide you with quality dental care! Dial 321.725.5377 for an appointment in our Melbourne office or 321.255.7724 for our Rockledge office.