View Full Version : Dull tooth pain with biting down or when tap side of tooth with fingernail

Mar 7, 2010, 10:30 PM
PLEASE HELP! I'm trying to get pregnant and want my teeth better soon. Tooth #19 (bottom left molar) had a root canal about 8 months ago. I had a permanent filling in it until recently when my insurance would cover a crown. (tooth had no cracks and had a narrow root canals so OK to wait) I had no pain until the day I received the temporary crown 5 weeks ago. My dentist said because of the tooth location the crown would be deeper in my gums and have more irritation for a little while. Even after getting the permanent crown 4 weeks ago I couldn't chew on the tooth without pain until last week. Last week I had to have a root canal for #18 next to it. The endodontist did an x-ray of #19 and said there was no failed root canal and that I just had a lot of inflammation and to give it 2 weeks and call him if it didn't get better because it may be a periodontal issue. The last week I finally had almost no pain unless I pressed hard on the tooth with my finger. I did wake up today though clenching my teeth and not have more pain with biting down or tapping the side of the tooth with my nail. I've had my teeth filed twice to take it out of occlusion but I'm wondering if there is still more occlusion, or if I need antibiotics, or if I have a bad crown, or if just time will make it go away. Any advice greatly appreciated as I am trying to get pregnant and want to take care of this ASAP!

Mar 7, 2010, 10:42 PM
Have you tried anything like sensodyne? I didn't have to have as much work done, but I did recently have some cavities filled. One of them hurt a lot afterwards and my dentist said to try sensodyne. After a couple days the pain went away.
Did you call your dr back about it yet?

Mar 8, 2010, 08:54 AM
Have you considered getting a nightguard to protect your teeth while you are sleeping? You said you woke up with your teeth clenched, this is a good sign that you may be grinding your teeth while you sleep. You don't want to have all your teeth taken out of occlusion!

Oct 2, 2011, 02:06 PM
Yeah, I second the idea of trying a night guard.

Pain with biting or tapping is a classic symptom of a cracked tooth. Cracked teeth are hard to diagnose, even for the experts. Oftentimes, there is no sign of a fracture on x-ray. Normally, this would be my first guess as to what's going on, but because you've had the pulp removed, I tend to think the irritation is coming from someplace else. Since you've had a root canal and crown already, if it is cracked, there's not much you can do other than have it extracted. If your dentist is not recommending extraction and your pain is intermittent, I would explore other options before considering having the tooth removed.

In your case, I'm guessing your symptoms are more likely caused by grinding and/or clenching, which can irritate the periodontal ligament. An inflamed ligament can also cause pain upon biting and tapping. A night guard may be worth a try. I would discuss it with your dentist first, though. An x-ray MAY be able to detect an inflamed ligament. You do have to be cautious using a night guard if your problem is primarily clenching, rather than grinding, though, because sometimes wearing a night guard can actually worsen clenching. There are a few things you can do to lessen clenching symptoms: try putting heat around the jaw before you go to bed, try an anti-inflammatory medicine like naproxin (Aleve) or ibuprofen (Motrin). Acetaminophen (Tylenol) may also be an option. Do not take these for more than a couple weeks, though. Muscle relaxers and some forms of behavioral therapy may help, as well. All-in-all, clenching is an extremely difficult problem to treat, but it is very important that clenchers seek treatment, as clenching and grinding are both major contributors to fractured teeth.