Born in Russia, Dr. Alexander Bokser immigrated to the United States at the age of ten. Settling in Kew Gardens Queens, Dr. Bokser graduated from Queens College with a B.A. in Economics. He then received his degree at New York University College of Dentistry in 1994, where he was licensed by the New York State Board of... more
Tooth nerve pain typically indicates that the tooth nerve is being damaged by a certain factor. Infections, injuries, and some conditions can destroy a tooth structure and reach a pulp. The pulp is a part of your tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves.
Tooth nerve pain is typically stabbing and varies in severity. Severity may depend on the cause of the pain. Here are seven common culprits of tooth nerve pain everyone needs to know:
1. Certain Foods
Eating too hot or cold, acidic, sugary, and sour foods regularly can weaken your enamel and lead to erosion. Enamel erosion can lead to extreme sensitivity and nerve pain. Here is a list of foods and drinks that can affect your enamel:
- Ice water
- Ice cream
- Citrus fruits
- Sports drinks
- Energy drinks
- Iced or hot tea
Avoiding these foods will help you reduce your pain until you visit your dentist.
2. Dental Injuries
Any hit in your jaw can increase the risk of severe dental injury. If you start to feel tooth pain after a hit or a bad fall, it’s important to turn to a dentist as soon as possible. Even if you think you haven’t gotten a dental injury, you still should pay attention to your sensations. Fortunately, most mild dental injuries go away on their own after a couple of days, as long as you don’t bite too hard foods. Symptoms tend to progress over time, so visiting your dentist is still a good idea.
3. Infection and Dental Abscess
When food particles get stuck in between your teeth and gums, they can lead to infection. If you don’t use floss and brush your teeth improperly, the infection can progress and lead to a dental abscess. An abscess is a pocket of pus that can form inside of your tooth leading to inflammation and nerve pain. If left untreated, an abscess progresses and damages the bone that holds your tooth and pulp. In severe cases, you might need an emergency tooth removal.
4. Excessive Exercising
Physical activity is essential for your overall health. But did you know that excessive exercising can harm your teeth? A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports reveals that triathletes who did endurance training had a higher risk of tooth erosion compared to people who didn't exercise. And the more they worked out each week, the more prone they were to tooth decay. Dentists suggest this might be due to a lack of saliva.
5. Wisdom Teeth
When wisdom teeth start to emerge from your gums, they might move your teeth causing nerve pain. Plus, erupting wisdom teeth can increase your risk of gum inflammation and infection. Most people who grind their teeth at night might even be unaware of this. Teeth grinding can cause headaches, pain in the facial muscles, and jaw stiffness.
6. Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding can even cause chipped or broken teeth that might result in tooth nerve pain. Nightguards are effective for some people but not for everyone with the condition. If your mouthguard isn’t helpful for you, Botox might be a good option. It stops excessive muscle activity and spasticity.
7. Receding Gums
Some people are prone to gum recession. Gum recession is a condition in which your gums pull back from the tooth surface exposing the roots of your teeth. The pain caused by receding gums usually appears every time the tooth hits hot or cold foods. To reduce sensitivity and pain caused by gum recession, brush your teeth with a toothpaste for sensitive teeth.