How to Eliminate Dental Nerve Pain? (5 Treatment Options)

Last Updated on: 17th June 2024, 02:45 pm

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Written by

Q.F. Nayibe Cubillos Morales


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Dr. Gustavo Assatourians D.D.S

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How to eliminate dental nerve pain? In this article, you will find some tips, including home remedies, that will help you control pain while you can wait to visit the dentist.

Dental pain is the main reason why people visit the dentist every year; nerve or dental pulp pain can be excruciating and affect normal daily activities.


Understanding Dental Nerve Pain

Many people consider dental pulp pain to be one of the worst they have experienced in their lives. Why does it happen? It is because the dental pulp is soft tissue, made up of blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves enclosed between walls of hard tissue (called dentin and enamel). When the dental pulp is irritated, it becomes inflamed, generating pulpitis.

Why do teeth hurt?  Learn from this article what are the possible causes of dental pain that we can avoid or prevent.

Generally, dental nerve pain increases at night. When a person is lying down, blood flows to the head, increasing pressure in the area. In addition, at night, there are fewer distractions and people focus more on the pain.



Types of Pulpitis


Dental pain occurs with stimuli such as cold, heat, or contact, and the pain disappears when the stimulus is removed. This pain is known as dental hypersensitivity since the nerve endings of the pulp present in the dentin transmit the sensation of pain to the nerve. When this happens, the inflammation of the pulp is mild and can be easily treated.


This is sharp, stabbing, intermittent pain that radiates from the affected tooth to different areas of the face. The pain does not disappear when removing the stimulus such as heat, and there may be swelling and infections. The definitive treatment is endodontics (root canal treatment).


Symptoms of Pulpitis




 Dental abscess (with pus)

 Bad smell and taste in the mouth

 Gum lesions

 Difficulty swallowing or breathing



Symptoms of a Spreading Infection

Pulpitis can cause infections, which if left untreated can spread to other parts of the body and be life-threatening. Some symptoms of a spreading infection are:

 Intense headache

 Fatigue and dizziness

 Redness of the skin


 Shaking chills

 Inflammation that makes it difficult to open the mouth

 Dark urine


What are the Causes of Dental Nerve Pain?

Pulpitis can be generated by one or several of the following reasons:

1. Broken or mismatched restorations (resins or crowns)

2. A dental infection

3. Bruxism (clenching and grinding of the teeth)

4. Caries

5. Dental fractures

6. Gum disease


How to Eliminate Dental Nerve Pain?


In case of dental pain, it is necessary to visit the dentist as soon as possible to determine the cause and carry out the indicated treatment. Each case is different, so the dentist must make a diagnosis, including taking radiographic exams and analyzing each patient before deciding on treatment.

When reversible pulpitis occurs, dental nerve pain can be eliminated through one of the following treatment options:

1. Restorations: In the case of a dental fracture or caries that do not compromise the dental nerve, resin restorations can be made to cover the affected area of the tooth, eliminate dentinal hypersensitivity, and restore dental function and shape.

2. Relaxant plate: In cases of dental clenching and grinding, installing a plate for night use will help protect the teeth and in some cases reduce clenching.

3. Crowns: In severe cases of tooth destruction, crowns can be placed that cover the entire tooth surface, restoring shape and function to the tooth. We have a comprehensive guide to the proper dental crown procedure that can help to understand more about this treatment.

To permanently eliminate dental nerve pain, one of the following options can be chosen:

4. Root canal: In severe cases, when the nerve is infected, damaged, or dead, it is necessary to perform a root canal to eliminate permanent dental nerve pain. The dental pulp is removed from the tooth, the area is disinfected, and the space is filled with a special material called gutta-percha to seal the tooth.  

If you don’t practice good dental hygiene, an accumulation of food debris (plaque) will cause dental caries. If they invade the pulp, it can result in a root canal infection.

5. Extractions: When a tooth is severely damaged and cannot be restored, it is indicated to extract it; later the missing tooth can be replaced with prostheses or implants.


Is it Possible to Relieve Dental Nerve Pain at Home?

Ideally, you should never experience dental nerve pain. Good oral health can be maintained with the habit of brushing your teeth daily, scheduling regular dental appointments, at least every 6 months, and opting for a healthy and balanced diet.

These good habits will help prevent dental diseases, and in case of presenting any condition, you can treat it in time.


However, in the case of dental nerve pain, it is sometimes temporarily controlled before your dental appointment. Consider these recommendations:

Over-the-counter pain relievers

Taking medications such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, among others, helps relieve dental pain. Remember that, although they are over-the-counter, their use cannot be abused. The ideal is to consult a professional, who will explain the frequency and dosage so the medication is safe and effective.

• Over-the-counter anesthetic: Gels can be placed on the affected area to relieve pain momentarily.

• Cold water compresses: Intermittently placing an ice pack or compress on the painful area can numb the area and relieve pain and swelling.

• Rinses: Rinsing with hydrogen peroxide, salt water, or bicarbonate of soda water helps relieve inflammation and the resultant pain.

Essential oils: These oils are extracted from plants through a water or steam distillation process. They are widely used thanks to their healing, relaxing, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. The best for dental nerve pain are clove, lavender, and thyme oil.

Although the use of over-the-counter medications and home remedies will help you cope with dental nerve pain short term, they are not definitive treatments. The best way to permanently relieve pain is to remove the cause of the pain. It is recommended to visit the dentist as soon as possible to receive the appropriate treatment, avoid future complications, and maintain good oral health.



1. Johnson, J. (August 23, 2019). How to get rid of a toothache at night. Medical news today.

2. Park, S. M., Ye, L., Love, R. M., Farges, J., & Yumoto, H. (2015). Inflammation of the Dental Pulp. Mediators of Inflammation, 2015, 1-2.

3. Pulpitis: Types, Symptoms & Treatment. (Reviewed: July 18, 2022). Cleveland Clinic.

4. Toothache: Causes, Symptoms & Remedies. (Reviewed: April 11, 2023). Cleveland Clinic.

5. Toothache Home Remedies. (Reviewed: April 4, 2023). WebMD.

6. Whelan, C. (Updated: April 17, 2019). What Is Pulpitis? Healthline.

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