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Causes and remedies for toothache

Dentin sensitivity

If you want to find out what causes the toothache that afflicts you, the best thing you can do is run to your dentist who is the only figure who can correctly evaluate your situation. If you want to have general information, in this article we will talk about how to remedy toothache and the causes that generate it.

Before getting to the heart of the matter, let’s talk about pain. Pain, small as a slight dental sensitivity or severe in severe cases, is a response from the body that indicates that something is not working as it should. The pain is transmitted through the nerves that are located inside the dental pulp and is more or less strong according to the type and degree of stimulation. Let’s see together what symptoms you may have and what the possible causes.

Sensitivity to too hot / cold food and drink

Dentinal sensitivity Possible cause:
if the pain lasts only a few moments, the dentinal sensitivity is generally not a sign of a big problem. It can be caused by: a small caries; a missed filling; a root exposed due to a gingival recession or an abrasion caused by a toothbrush.

What to do:
if the problem is caused by the root, try to keep it clean and free of plaque. Use a soft toothbrush, brush gently on the gum line and do not brush your teeth too often. Fluoride toothpaste for sensitive teeth can help. Eventually, you could also use the toothpaste as an ointment and rub it on the gingival edge for a few minutes. If sensitivity continues, consult a dentist.

Sensitivity to heat / cold after a treatment

Possible cause: following a dental treatment, the dental pulp may become inflamed and cause dentinal sensitivity.

What to do: sensitivity should last a few days; however, if you have recently had a caries removed or a capsule attached, the sensitivity may last for a week or two. In these cases, ibuprofen or aspirin medicines can provide relief.

Sharp pain while biting food

Possibile causa: carie, perdita di un’otturazione o rottura di un dente.

What to do: consult a dentist before the pain gets worse; it is necessary to remove caries or replace the lost filling. If the pain is caused by root inflammation, you probably need an endodontist who could resort to devitalization. Even in the event of a broken tooth, time is precious: the sooner you consult a dentist, the higher the chances of avoiding worse damage.

Persistent pain after eating or drinking hot or cold substances

Possible cause: the dental pulp is likely to be inflamed or necrotic (dying) due to deep caries or trauma.

What to do: talk to your dentist (endodontist) before the pain becomes unsustainable due to the onset of an abscess. You will most likely have to devitalize the tooth.

Latent pain / severe discomfort perceived at the height of the upper molars

Possible cause: The perceived pain in the areas of the maxillary sinuses (molar area) is often not associated with a single tooth but involves a larger area and could be connected to a inflammation of the nerves that the molars share. The causes are difficult to determine but could be associated with a severe cold or flu. Another possible cause could be tooth grinding (bruxism).

What to do: if you are affected or have a severe cold then the pain could be caused by the clogging of the sinuses. Otherwise, it is best to consult a dentist as soon as possible.

Sharp and constant pain from an area, impossibility of identifying the sore tooth

Possible cause: there is an infection inside the tooth that involves the dental pulp which is inflamed and in necrosis. This happens when caries is very close to the nerve.

What to do: also in this case it is necessary to resort to the endodontist for a root canal treatment that removes the infected tissue.

Sharp and constant pain, pressure, swelling of the gums and sensitivity to touch

Possible cause: A tooth may have an infection / abscess that not only affects the pulp but that touches the periodontal tissue and bone.

What to do: contact a dentist immediately. Some over-the-counter medicines, such as ibuprofen-based medicines, can help you relieve pain.


We reiterate that all the causes and solutions proposed are to be understood as general guidelines and cannot in any way replace the opinion of a dentist. In many cases, it is best to avoid postponing a visit to a dental office to prevent the situation from getting worse.

We at Sanident are at your disposal in case you find yourself in one of the situations analyzed.

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