What is a Throbbing Tooth and How to Relieve Throbbing Tooth Pain?

by | Jul 12, 2022 | General Orthodontics | 0 comments

You may have experienced tooth pain in the past, for example, when biting down on something that doesn’t give way and break apart as it should. It could also be because you just had an elaborate dental procedure done. Or your teeth are damaged. You can suffer severe tooth pain in so many ways!

In our mouths, our teeth and surrounding tissues are extremely sensitive. This is because each tooth contains pulp nerves, which have a higher sensitivity than any other nerves in the body. Although the degree of pain varies, it’s not uncommon to have a throbbing, pulsating pain. You can’t ignore or push it to the back of your mind like so much background noise because it is a constant, persistent, severe pain. A throbbing pain is a warning sign that something serious is going on that you need to address immediately. It could be an injury, infection, or irritation.

Throbbing tooth pain should be diagnosed and handled right away, either by your dentist or orthodontist, on your own with some helpful home remedies, or both.

What is a Throbbing Tooth?

Your tooth or several teeth might be the source of that sharp pain. There may be an injury, an infection of the tooth, or you may be recovering from an invasive dental procedure. The tissues surrounding the tooth are likely inflamed and bleeding. Tooth sensitivity may be caused by damage or decay that exposes the tooth’s nerve, allowing germs to enter — that’s what makes teeth throb!

You may feel that your heart beats along with the intense throbbing sensation of your tooth. This is not the case. Researchers have found that the toothache does not match the heartbeat; it follows its independent rhythm. According to one study of patients with throbbing tooth pain, the heart rate was significantly faster than the throbbing rate, with no underlying synchrony. Researchers also theorized that the pace of throbbing was the result of neuropsychological processing.

No matter the source of this pain, you should immediately see your orthodontist or dentist to identify what’s causing it.

What Causes Throbbing Tooth Pain?

Throbbing tooth pain can have several causes, so here are a few:

  • Tooth decay: Bacteria destroy the enamel layer and the protection it provides.
  • Tooth abscess: A tooth abscess kills the pulp inside the tooth and creates pus.
  • Tooth fracture: A crack in the tooth can let in germs or food particles and cause infection.
  • Gum disease: Infection invades the gums and causes gingivitis.
  • Bruxism: Grinding the teeth causes damage and pain.

Throbbing Tooth Pain after Tooth Extraction

The process of extracting a tooth is invasive and intense. A throbbing pain will result once the anesthesia wears off after the roots are separated from the jaw bone. It is normal for your mouth to hurt for a few days as it begins to heal. You may even experience a dry socket, which occurs when the protective blood clot fails to form, and raw nerves are exposed.

Throbbing Tooth Pain after Crown

Crowns are tooth-shaped caps made from metal, ceramic, or porcelain covering damaged teeth that can cause throbbing tooth pain if broken or loosened. In addition, a crown placement procedure may cause temporary discomfort, as can receding gums around a crown.

Throbbing Tooth Pain After Dental Fillings

Cavities are common and may cause pain, particularly if they reach a depth deep enough to affect the nerve. The filling material will also cause temporary pain and sensitive teeth, but these will pass within a few days. However, if the pain persists, there may be a problem with the dental filling, and then you’ll need to see the dentist.

Throbbing Tooth Pain After Root Canal 

It is necessary to remove the inner pulp of a tooth if it has become damaged or infected. This procedure is called a root canal. After a root canal, you are likely to experience some discomfort for several days. You should return to the dentist if you still experience prolonged, severe pain even after the surgery.

Throbbing Tooth Pain in the Wisdom Tooth

In some cases, wisdom teeth can grow crooked or slanted because of insufficient room in your jaw. Wisdom teeth can cause pain when they push against other teeth, trap bacteria that cause decay, or when they are removed.

Symptoms of Throbbing Tooth Pain

Several symptoms may accompany throbbing tooth pain, such as:

  • A dull ache that never goes away
  • When you bite or eat something sweet, you feel pain
  • An aching jaw
  • Swelling of the mouth or gums

How to Stop Throbbing Pain

You should first consult an orthodontist or dentist, who will identify the source of pain and prescribe the appropriate treatment or medication based on a thorough examination. Until then, you can ease your pain by yourself by employing several DIY tips.

DIY Tips to Stop Throbbing Tooth Pain

Try one or more of the following pain relievers:

  • Rinse with saltwater: Saltwater reduces inflammation and swelling and cleanses the skin naturally.
  • Hydrogen peroxide rinse: Combine one part hydrogen peroxide and one part water to reduce inflammation.
  • Cold compress: Holding a cold compress against the affected area for up to 20 minutes at a time eases pain.
  • Temporary relief from pain with over-the-counter medications.
  • Ice packs and over-the-counter anesthetics are also helpful.


Choose Patuxent Orthodontics for Your Orthodontic Treatment!

Experiencing severe pain for an extended period of time is not something anyone would like to do, especially when sensitive teeth are involved. When a pain throbs, it either indicates early healing or a sign of something potentially serious.

Persistent throbbing pain should prompt a visit to the dentist or orthodontist for treatment. Until then, you can treat it by following some home remedies.

Contact Patuxent Orthodontics if you think that orthodontic care may be a solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of orthodontic care or simply have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (240) 802-7217 or send us a message through our Contact Us page to connect with our friendly staff today to book a free consultation! Our office, located at 44220 Airport View Dr., Hollywood, MD 20636, proudly serves Maryland’s Patuxent area, as well as the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in Hollywood, Wildewood, or Leonardtown and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Maryland, don’t hesitate to visit our office! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health and follow us on social media to become a part of our smiling community!



  1. “Toothache: Causes, Symptoms & Remedies.” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10957-toothache. Accessed 11 Jul. 2023.

  2. Iftikhar, Noreen. “Throbbing Tooth Pain: Causes and Treatments.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 28 Jan. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/throbbing-tooth-pain. Accessed 11 Jul. 2023.

  3. Mirza, Afia F, et al. “Is There a Relationship between Throbbing Pain and Arterial Pulsations?” The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 30 May 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3376713/. Accessed 11 Jul. 2023.

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