No, your heartbeat hasn’t reached your teeth — that throbbing sensation could be a sign of an infection.
“Throbbing teeth may be caused by an infection in a tooth or the gums around the teeth. Infections in teeth are caused by deep decay, broken teeth, or past trauma to the teeth,” Dr. Elizabeth Cranford Robinson, DMD, FAGD, a dentist associated with Cranford Dental, explains.
Unfortunately, throbbing pain doesn’t always strike alone. It’s common to feel tenderness to chewing, achiness, swelling, or bleeding gums along with it too, she adds.
Since throbbing tooth pain is a possible sign of underlying issues with the tooth or gums, there are ways to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Dr. Robinson says that practicing good oral hygiene, avoiding sugary foods and drinks that cause decay, wearing a nightguard to prevent cracks in teeth if you clench or grind, and regularly seeing your dentist can keep you feeling good.
And if you’re already experiencing throbbing teeth pain, you should contact your dentist if the pain worsens, is consistent, or keeps you from sleeping at night, she adds.
“Most patients seek care for a throbbing tooth within a few days of the first onset. If the throbbing pain goes away on its own, it is still important to follow up with your dentist to see if she can determine the cause. Some conditions that cause throbbing pain can also cause swelling, which can quickly become very painful and dangerous.”
Before self-diagnosing yourself with an oral infection, though, assess if you’re experiencing sinus pressure, too. Dr. Robinson says that a sinus infection can also trigger throbbing tooth pain.
Of course, your doctor or dentist will be able to give you a clear-cut answer on what’s going on and how to feel better. So, leave any prognosis to an expert before jumping to conclusions.
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