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Q. Getting throbbing pain in the left upper jaw which is disturbing my sleep. Please help.

Answered by
Dr. Kaushik Arya
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 30, 2020

Hello doctor,

I think I am suffering from a tooth or gum infection. My left upper jaw started to hurt last month. It felt like it was one of the teeth at the end of the left upper jaw. I checked for cavities but nothing was visible. The pain stopped after a few days but I have been suffering from it occasionally. Now I feel the pain in the middle of the left upper jaw near the gums. Sometimes, it worsens when I sleep at night. Occasionally, I feel severe throbbing pain. Please help.



Welcome to

Based on the information you have provided, it looks like you might be suffering from a dental infection due to severe dental decay causing inflammation of the dental pulp. Since the decay is not visible directly, it might be between two teeth or perhaps your upper wisdom tooth which usually erupts towards the cheek.

Also, it can be due to a crack in the tooth structure leading to exposure and infection of the pulp and pain on friction between the moving fragments of the tooth.

For a definitive diagnosis, we will require the following information:

1. Intraoral clinical photographs.

2. Dental x-rays like IOPA (intraoral periapical radiograph) and OPG (orthopantomography). A CBCT (cone beam computer tomography) may be advised if required for further investigation.

Any medical history like diabetes, hypertension, asthma, blood disorders, allergies, acidity, etc? Any on-going medication including any nutritional supplements?

The increase in pain at night might be attributed to the fact that when we lie down, the blood flow to the head region increases leading to pressure changes and subsequent pain.

A set of prescription antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicines may help reduce the pain. Use of saltwater rinses to clear food debris will help in keeping the area clean.

I hope this helps.

The Probable causes:

Dental decay. Pulp inflammation. Gum pockets. Cracked tooth.

Differential diagnosis:

Chronic irreversible pulpitis. Periapical abscess. Cracked tooth syndrome.

Preventive measures:

Brush twice daily with a fluoride containing paste. Use of interdental floss to clean the surfaces, spaces and contacts between the teeth. Use of salt water gargles everyday especially after meals.Tongue cleaning on regular basis. A periodic check up with your dentist once every six months. A visit to the dentist for oral prophylaxis (teeth cleaning and polishing) once every six months.

Regarding follow up:

Immediately after providing the required information.

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