Q. What is the treatment available for pain in tooth while tapping?

Answered by
Dr. Tooba Qazi
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 25, 2019

Hello doctor,

My upper right one tooth (front tooth) is painful to touch from the front. It is sturdy and does not move at all. It also is not painful to push from the inside out. It does not hurt to bite down at all. It simply hurts to tap the front of the tooth. Any ideas on what this could be?



Welcome to

Pain on tapping have two differential diagnosis. It could be a sensitive tooth. Enamel of tooth is weak that is why it is having greater amount of sensitivity on touch and pressure. If this is the case then veneering is done on the front surface of the tooth and this complain goes away in a week.

The other reason could be there is some infection in the underlying tooth. Periapical, periodontal abscess or infections do not need caries or cavities to cause infection. They occur at root and bone part of tooth and usually occur silently. Once they start to aggravate, they cause such symptoms of pain on tapping only. Get X-ray done of the tooth in question, send me its picture and clinical picture of tooth also. If this is the case then root canal treatment is recommended. Give me its followup once you get radiograph done. Stay happy and blessed. Take care.

Thank you doctor,

I have been to my dentist and they said they did not want to take imaging for another two weeks in case it was just bruising and that if it had not been bruising that it may require a root canal. I have a picture of the tooth in question. If it requires root canal, would the tooth hurt when eating? As there is no pain when eating, etc.



Welcome back to

Its enamel is just perfect (attachment removed to protect patient identity). There are chances of #2 diagnosis that it may have some periapical issues. Your dentist suggested right that if pain aggravates or some changes of bruising or boil appears in gums above tooth in question it means root canal will be done. Otherwise, there may be slight inflammation due to trauma while eating, as I can see your teeth are crowded. The wall of this tooth is not supported by adjacent tooth as ideally all teeth are supported with each other. Therefore, if some pressure is put on questioned tooth it may react more than any other tooth and might feel hurt.

To rule out this inflammation or trauma reason just take tablet Ibuprofen 400 mg twice a day for three days. If tooth starts behaving like normal in the next 5 to 7 days then it means there was slight inflammation due to unwanted hit or bite you did not notice some time ago. If it would be root canal infection thing the pain will recur and you will feel pain especially at night while lying down straight. Give me follow up after taking Ibuprofen for three days. Feel free to ask if you have any further question in mind.

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