You’ve had Fillings, Root Canal Therapy and Dental Surgeries…why does your Tooth Still Hurt?
At times teeth become sensitive or begin to ache for no specific reason. Or begin to hurt following a dental hygiene session or after routine dental procedures. Despite thorough investigation and treatment efforts to diminish or stop the pain (including the placement of sedative temporary restorations, root canal therapy, surgical procedures, and extractions) sometimes tooth pain persists to the point of creating frustration for the dentist and anxiety and suffering for you, the patient.
Causes of Tooth Pain that is Persistent
Recent research has suggested that for no specific reason the nerves that send pain information to the brain from your teeth can become “sensitized”. As a metaphor, if you leave the beach with a sunburn and put your shirt on (a normal activity) you feel pain. You feel pain because the threshold for the nerves in your skin to fire has diminished due to the heat from the sun.
In a similar way the nerves serving your teeth can develop lower firing thresholds (after a tooth cleaning, a simple dental procedure or for “no good reason”) and lead to the experience of pain when no physical cause can be identified. The dilemma in these cases occurs when tooth pain persists and the dentist cannot find anything wrong with your teeth or gum tissue.
However, treatments can be put into place to help restore normalcy to the nerves in your painful tooth or tooth site. Once accomplished, these difficult tooth pain problems can be under control.
Other Causes of Tooth Pain that is Persistent
- Muscles that are in spasm or in a state of continuous tension
- Teeth grinding
- Teeth glenching
If your pain is a result of muscle overuse or tension, common tooth pain treatments include jaw exercises during the day, oral appliances, and sometimes Botox injections in the jaw muscles to diminish the force exerted during periods of nighttime clenching and grinding of the teeth. Once these destructive forces are controlled, the tooth pain typically goes away.