Skip to main content

What Causes Tooth Nerve Pain?

man with tooth pain

Tooth nerve pain can range from mild to excruciating and should be examined by a dentist as soon as possible.

What Can Help with Tooth Nerve Pain?

Pain in an exposed tooth nerve can be triggered by foods and drinks that are hot or cold, sugary, acidic or sour. If you avoid the following, you may be able to help reduce your pain until you are able to be seen by a dentist:

  • Ice water
  • Iced or hot tea
  • Coffee
  • Soda
  • Sports drinks
  • Ice cream
  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Citrus fruits
  • Tomatoes
  • Pickles

What Does Nerve Pain Feel Like in a Tooth?

Tooth nerve pain can feel like a sharp, stabbing pain or a dull ache. If your tooth nerve is exposed, particular foods and drinks will probably trigger the pain.

Will Tooth Nerve Pain Go Away?

Tooth nerve pain does not typically go away without dental treatment unless it is a tooth engaged in the healing process after dental treatment. If you are not able to get in to see a dentist right away, you may be able to get some relief by avoiding foods and drinks that trigger the pain and by using a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth along with a soft-bristled toothbrush.

What Are the Symptoms of a Dying Nerve in a Tooth?

A dying nerve in a tooth causes pain when a collection of white blood cells, bacteria, and the remnants of dead nerves combine to put pressure on the nerve endings around the outside of the tooth. This is the beginning of the infection process of a dying or necrotic tooth and you may experience other symptoms such as swelling or a bad taste or smell in your mouth. A dying tooth may also start to look discolored.

How Do You Soothe an Exposed Tooth Nerve?

Using a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth and brushing gently can help soothe the exposed nerves. You should also avoid triggers like hot and cold foods and drinks.

What Helps a Severe Exposed Tooth Nerve?

A severe exposed tooth nerve must be addressed with a prescribed treatment from a dentist. This often involves removing the decayed material and replacing it with a filling, crown, onlay, or a root canal.

Can a Tooth Heal Itself?

Some types of nerve pain can be reversed, but this usually occurs when the inflammation is mild, and the tooth pulp can be saved. This can require a filling, but if symptoms are more severe, a root canal may be needed.

How Do You Know if You Have Nerve Damage in Your Tooth?

Pain is usually what signals nerve damage to your tooth. It can start with sensitivity to hot or cold foods or beverages, and as it progresses, the pain can get worse and occur day and night.

Can Tooth Nerve Pain Go Away On its Own?

Tooth nerve pain is unlikely to go away on its own and instead goes away when the problem that caused the nerve to be exposed is corrected.

How Long Does It Take a Tooth Nerve to Die?

There’s no set time it takes for a tooth nerve to die since it depends on several different factors. If you have sensitivity or pain, you should see a dentist immediately for treatment.

If you’re experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity, make an appointment today in one of our many convenient New York area offices. We’re open with extended hours on weekdays and are also available on weekends and for emergencies to provide the care you need when you need it.


Your submission was successful! We will get back to you as soon as possible.