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HomeAnswersDentistrytooth painWhat causes constant pulsatile tooth pain?

What could cause constant pulsatile tooth pain?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Prerna Jain

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At September 16, 2016
Reviewed AtDecember 19, 2023

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I have constant pain in my front tooth (11). I have not had any trauma to it as of I aware and I take good care of my teeth. I do not have gum disease. There may be a tiny bit of gum recession due to over brushing. The ache is constant. I do not get any pain from cold or hot food or drinks. When I eat the pain seems to disappear, but it is present when I am not doing anything. I can feel it as pulsatile pain. Please help.

Answered by Dr. Prerna Jain


Welcome to icliniq.com.

The tooth pain you are experiencing is indicative of pulpitis that is there is inflammation of the living part of your tooth. It may or may not be irreversible. It would be clearer if you could answer a few more questions. When did the pain start? How long has it been? How long does the pain last? Does it last all day? Do you have any pain on biting hard food or biting even normal food? Is there any sensitivity to sweet foods? The way to go forward in such a case where there is no obvious tooth decay or gum disease or history of trauma is to take a small x-ray (IOPA - intraoral periapical radiograph) and eliminate any of the problems listed above along with any root problems. Occasionally, there is no evident reason such as injury or trauma, but over a period of time accumulated insult to the tooth can cause such pain. Next step is to check the tooth vitality and the response to pulp vitality test. This can be done by a dentist to check the response time. Another probable reason could be sinusitis. However, that pain is more generalized. There are more complex reasons as well, but we start from the simplest and eliminate them one by one.

The Probable causes

1. Long term micro trauma or hypersensitivity. 2. Deep traumatic bite with lower teeth. 3. Tooth decay not visible to naked eye. 4. Sinusitis referred pain.

Investigations to be done

IOPA and pulp vitality test.

Probable diagnosis

Pulpal inflammation.

Treatment plan

After investigations, depending on results treatment plan can be formed. You might require root canal treatment and capping.

Regarding follow up

Revert back with the x-ray to a dentist online.---> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dentist

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Prerna Jain
Dr. Prerna Jain


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