There are different types of tooth pain. There can be a dull ache, sensitivity, sharp pain, and all of them indicate a problem or other. One of such pains is throbbing tooth pain. The reason can be various, and it is not something you can treat at home. Avoiding it is not possible at all.

What is Throbbing Tooth Pain?

The throbbing tooth pain can be excruciating. It is not a constant pain that keeps nagging your mind in the background. Instead, it is a sudden pain that shoots through the teeth and only increases, resulting in a throbbing pain that becomes unbearable. It starts from one tooth and may spread to one or more teeth, your jaw, and even the side of your face. It causes swelling and bleeding gums.

What Causes Throbbing pain?

There can be several causes of throbbing tooth pain that comes and goes. These causes are-

  • Dental Infections

If you’ve injured your gum while brushing or had oral surgery, you had severe cavities that you ignored for a long time, etc., are the causes of a dental infection. The infection can spread to one or more teeth and even your gums. In case of severe damage to the tooth or roots, a root canal is a possible way to treat the dental infection.

  • Cavities

Improper brushing leads to cavities. It means tooth decay. The tooth starts discoloring, and a throbbing pain takes place in your mouth.

  • Gum Disease

Plaque buildup is the most common reason that leads to gum disease. This plaque turns into tartar which is a hard surface and causes gum diseases. It can cause throbbing pain that comes and goes and troubles eating, drinking, and even speaking sometimes.

  • Injuries

If you fell or got thrashed, hit your face against the wall, slipped, it can cause serious injury to the teeth. Sometimes, there is just chipping of the tooth, which is ignored. Very small cracks don’t raise the alarm. But if you break a tooth under the gum, and it goes unnoticed, it causes throbbing pain that comes and goes. The crown remains intact, but the broken tooth causes the problem.

  • Weak Enamel

The hard surface of your teeth is enamel. It is very hard, but if you eat sugary food causing acid buildup or brush too harshly, this enamel wears off. It causes any drink or food to hit the teeth, which causes a sensation. It can also cause throbbing pain.

  • Braces Or Wires

If you have got a pair of braces recently, you may feel a throbbing pain in a specific area or entire mouth. These braces and wires shift your teeth in a new position which may cause pain. It is not dangerous. But If it persists, consult your doctor.

  • Bruxism

Grinding teeth and jaws while sleeping or when you are angry is called Bruxism. It wears out the teeth and causes throbbing pain.

  • Impacted Wisdom Teeth

If you are an old teenager, you may notice that your wisdom teeth are coming. If there is no space in your mouth, the tooth may get impacted, i.e., not erupt normally. It may cause throbbing pain.

Treatment For Throbbing Pain

There is no fixed treatment for throbbing pain. First, you can take OTC medicines to counter the pain. The treatment can be started only after a visit to the dentist. Once the cause of such throbbing pain that comes and goes is clear, your dentist will prescribe the best way to fight it.

  • In case of tooth decay or cavities, the plaque is removed, and infection or decayed tooth is cleared with antibiotics.
  • If you have a tooth fracture, veneer or filling is the option. A new cap may be required. The last resort is the root canal.
  • In case of infected gums, antibiotics are prescribed first. In case of no results, a deep cleaning is required.
  • In the case of a wisdom tooth, the cyst, infection, the infection is cleared, or the tooth is extracted.
  • In the case of a dead tooth, the pulp and the nerve inside the tooth die, and the space made by it causes infection or abscess. It may get nasty. Antibiotics are the first option. Deep cleaning and a root canal or an implant may be required if the damage is severe.
  • If you bite on something hard, it may damage your filling. The dentist will replace the filling or get you a new crown made.
  • In the case of Bruxism, wearing a mouthguard is your first line of defense. Use some stress relief balls. Practice not to grind your teeth.


All the gum and tooth problems start from improper brushing and lack of oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice daily. But if you still suffer from the throbbing pain that comes and goes, pay a visit to the dentist. The sooner you get it checked, the sooner you get rid of the pain.

Published by Dr. Daniel Bronsky

Dr. Daniel is an orthodontist at Invis London.

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