Have you ever felt that sudden sharp pain in your teeth when you take a sip of something hot or cold? What about a dull throbbing tooth ache that builds up and doesn’t seem to go away?

You’re most likely suffering from tooth nerve pain. Learning more about the structure of our teeth will help us understand what causes this kind of tooth pain and how to treat it.

man suffering from tooth pain while holding a white cup

Basic parts of the tooth

Our tooth is made up of two parts – the visible part called the crown and the hidden part known as the root. Extending between the crown and the root is the pulp, a soft tissue containing life-giving nerves and blood vessels. The tooth has three layers of protection: the outer layer known as enamel, the dentin that is connected to the pulp and the cementum that protects the root. Any damage to these layers, particularly exposure of the dentin will cause tooth sensitivity and nerve pain.

Common causes of nerve pain in teeth

When dentin is damaged or exposed, our teeth become sensitive to abrupt changes in temperature, pressure and certain types of food. Some of the common causes of nerve pain in the teeth include the following:

  • Dental caries or cavities are permanent holes in your teeth caused by acid-forming plaque, due to excessive consumption of sugary foods and poor oral hygiene. The deeper the cavity grows within the protective layers of your teeth, the bigger the risk of getting toothaches and bacterial infection.
  • Cracked tooth syndrome is a dental condition involving invisible cracks or fractures of the enamel, which causes localised pain when biting chewing or drinking.
  • Teeth grinding or bruxism is the involuntary clenching or gnashing of teeth, often while sleeping, which results in pain and teeth sensitivity.
  • Gum disease is a bacterial infection affecting gums, tissues and bones surrounding the teeth. Gingivitis (mild gum irritation) or the more serious gum infection known as periodontitis may also cause pain.

Home remedies to help manage tooth nerve pain

Depending on what’s causing it, nerve pain in a tooth may go away as quickly as it comes, or the mild throbbing ache will seem to go on forever. If you’re unable to see your dentist immediately, here are some home remedy tips to help reduce your pain and discomfort:

  • Take over-the-counter pain relief medication such as Ibuprofen.
  • Gargle with salt water rinse to disinfect the area and reduce inflammation.
  • Use a cold compress to temporarily numb the surrounding area, reducing pain and swelling.
  • Gently brush teeth using a soft bristled toothbrush and toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.
  • Natural remedies such as garlic, cloves, thyme and peppermint tea also have pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties that soothe aches away when applied directly on affected areas.

Seek dental help to treat the root cause of your pain

You can manage the pain using home remedy hacks, however, this will only give you temporary relief. A visit to your dentist as soon as possible is highly recommended to determine the root cause of your pain and provide proper treatment to make it go away for good.

Call us at (03) 9041 5301 now to book an appointment with any of our team of dental professionals.