tooth pain

There are many types of toothache, sometimes a dull ache will occur consistently but other times people experience a throbbing tooth pain that comes and goes. Throbbing tooth pain is characterised by a pulsating feeling, similar to a heartbeat. The most common cause of throbbing pain in a tooth is early stage tooth decay.

Tooth pain or toothache is one of the most common types of pain and may require dental treatment. Other causes of throbbing pain in a tooth include the following:

  • Broken fillings: If you experience a throbbing pain it may result from previous treatment for a dental problem, such as fillings. Older adults may be more likely to have broken fillings, due to gradual wear and older dental practices.
  • Gum disease: Gum disease, which people also refer to as periodontal disease, can also cause a throbbing tooth pain that comes and goes. Gum disease is a common problem and can also cause severe throbbing pains in the jawline.
  • Tooth infections: A dental abscess allows bacteria to enter a tooth and infect it, which can sometimes spread from the teeth to the jaw – or even other areas of the body. Infection is a frequent cause of pulsating pain in a tooth.

When tooth decay begins it is a gradual process and an intermittent throbbing toothache is usually a sign that a cavity is developing. If you brush your teeth regularly and thoroughly with fluoride toothpaste you might reverse early signs of cavities and prevent them from worsening – as well as boosting overall oral health.

As experts in delivering effective dental treatments for a range of issues, we are familiar with the most common causes of a throbbing tooth pain that comes and goes – so we are a good source of information on the matter. If you would like to book a dental appointment in the Brighton and Hove area please get in touch.

How Do I Know If It’s Tooth Decay?

Sometimes the symptoms of throbbing pain in a tooth or multiple teeth are triggered by sensitivity from early-stage tooth decay. If you notice throbbing and sensitivity in certain situations, tooth decay may be the cause. 

Common triggers of pain for sensitive teeth include the following:

  • Cold food and drinks: Ice cream, ice cubes, chilled water and many other cold food or drinks are common causes of pain for people with sensitive teeth. Avoiding these triggers or using toothpaste for sensitive teeth can help.
  • Hot foods or drinks: Some people do not realise that both hot or cold foods can cause sensitivity and pain. Tea and coffee are common sources of pain. Avoiding hot food and drinks, or letting them cool, will reduce the pain.
  • Tooth brushing: If you have throbbing tooth pain from tooth decay it may worsen while brushing or shortly after. Using specially-made toothpaste for sensitive teeth can help with this issue, as will a gentle brushing technique.

The early stages of tooth decay may be reversible, but can also require dental treatment to prevent the cavity from worsening. A dentist can recommend the best type of treatment. You can first try taking better care of teeth to improve symptoms.

If symptoms do not improve with renewed hygiene techniques a proper dental treatment may be required. If treatment is necessary a root canal and filling or dental implant and crown may be the appropriate treatment to resolve symptoms. 

Is It My Wisdom Tooth?

Wisdom teeth do not normally develop in children under 16 but will begin to come in from around 17 years old until someone is in their mid-twenties – it varies depending on the person. If you are having a throbbing tooth pain that comes and goes and you are under 16, it is unlikely that wisdom teeth problems are the issue. 

The location of the wisdom teeth, right at the back of the mouth both at the bottom and top, might cause pulsating pain in the area. If any pain radiates from this area the wisdom teeth may be the source of the pain. Treatments for painful wisdom teeth may include tooth extraction, which may be painful but subsides over time. 

When Does a Throbbing Toothache Require Treatment?

Since there is an intermittent nature to the pain, a throbbing toothache can be quite confusing – and it is difficult to know when to seek treatment. The best way to determine whether your pulsating toothache requires treatment is to have regular dental checkups, so your dentist can advise you on whether treatment is necessary.

In certain very rare instances, a toothache can be the result of referred pain. Referred pain causes pain in one area, such as the teeth, but relates to a different part of the body. Therefore, non-dental conditions may cause tooth pain. This phenomenon occurs due to the interconnection of nerves that feed into all areas within the body. 

Common Causes of Throbbing Tooth Pain Explained

It can be very frustrating to have throbbing tooth pain that comes and goes, as it is difficult to understand what the cause of the problem might be. A dull toothache or pulsating pain in a tooth is usually caused by tooth decay, which is potentially reversible. You must visit a dentist to determine the cause of a throbbing toothache.

With effective treatment, intermittent tooth pain can be corrected, and simply boosting oral hygiene practices may solve the issue – this is a good first step while you wait for an appointment with a dentist and such an approach will also help prevent other issues from developing or worsening. 

If you have a throbbing or pulsating toothache that only bothers you occasionally you should still visit a dentist to see if it needs treatment. There are several possible causes, which may or may not require an intervention. For an appointment in the Brighton and Hove area please feel free to get in touch with our team today.