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FAQ:  Pain - Gum and Mouth



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Gum Pain Ask The Dentist Corinne Scalzitti Question:
Novacaine doesn't help: I have recently been having severe pain in my tooth that I had a filling done on 5 months ago.

At first my tooth became sensitive to cold but now has a throbbing pain and is very sensitive to pressure. I went to the dentist and he said my gum is swollen but there is nothing that he can see with the x-rays.

So he injected the area twice with novacaine. The throbbing pain was relieved but pressure upon the tooth still hurts. He and the nurse looked at me like I was crazy and kept trying to explain that I shouldn't feel a thing.

Is there something wrong that I would need to worry about or am I stressing over nothing? .... Visitor from TX

Answer:
It sounds to me like the nerve of the tooth is dying and you may need a root canal.

There is a slight chance that the filling is high and this is the reason for your discomfort, but the throbbing pain, sensitivity to pressure, and swollen gum sound like an abscess that will accompany the need for a root canal.

X-rays won't show this until the infection has been present for long enough to erode the bone at the top of the root. I would suggest that you see an endodontist (root canal specialist) for an evaluation.

Corinne Scalzitti, DMD, MAGD

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