A: That could mean a variety of things. The nerves in the teeth send us signals whenever there’s a stimulation being brought to the tooth. If it’s tingling randomly for no reason— you haven’t chewed ice or haven’t eaten anything hard or tough— that could be an indication of a small cavity in the tooth.
That’s a signal that the nerve is sending to the brain to let you know that something is going on. It could be an early sign of a fracture. So, if there’s something tingling on your teeth, definitely don’t ignore it—bring it up, come in and see me, or ask your dentist.
Have you ever had the strange feeling of tingling in your teeth? If you’re thinking it could be a sign that something is wrong—you may be right. However, when teeth are tingling, it can be a random symptom that is harmless—or it can indicate a problem.
Either way, the best approach to take when your teeth are tingling, is a proactive one. If it is a one-off, random sensation—probably nothing to worry about. If your teeth are tingling pretty often though—a visit to your dentist is a safe bet.
We understand that anytime you have a foreign feeling in your teeth, it can be concerning—and rightfully so. We’ll cover some common potential reasons your teeth are tingling, what you can do, and the best course of action.
Possible Reasons Your Teeth Are Tingling
If your teeth give you that shivering feeling up your backbone when eating ice, something hot, or even doing nothing at all, you may need treatment. Then again, you might not. Either way, if it’s happening regularly, it’s better to find out the cause. Some reasons your teeth are tingling can be serious issues that need immediate attention. It is all dependent on the underlying cause of the sensation.
That tingling sensation in many cases we see is often a cavity that needs to be filled. Cavities are a serious dental condition, that if not treated in time, can cause major health problems.
When a tooth decays, it’s due to bacteria and causes whitish or brownish spots to appear on the surface of your teeth. If left untreated, they can eat through the enamel and create a hole, known as a cavity in dental terms.
These holes can extend down to the root of your tooth which causes irritation and then you’ll notice your teeth are tingling. The tingling is the nerve trying to alert your brain that something is going on.
If the cavity is advanced, you will need to have a dentist fill it in so that the rest of your tooth is preserved. This will also stop any pain or tingling sensation in your tooth.
Broken or Cracked Tooth
A tooth can crack or break without suffering any major trauma to the dental area. These conditions can happen as a result of having bad genetics. People born with softer teeth have a higher propensity for a cracked tooth than most.
When you crack a tooth, sometimes it exposes the sensitive nerve within the layers of the tooth. You might not even be able to see the crack, but you’ll notice it if your teeth are tingling.
Teeth that are broken or cracked need to have tooth repair performed as soon as possible. If left untreated the crack could spread. In worst-case scenarios, the tooth can completely break apart.
The most common treatment for a cracked or broken tooth that can be repaired is bonding or a crown. However, if the tooth is too far gone, what’s remaining of it will need to be extracted and replaced with a dental implant.
Tooth sensitivity is also referred to as denting hypersensitivity. In layman’s terms, this means your teeth are extremely sensitive to various types of stimuli.
That can mean consuming hot beverages or food, cold beverages or food, or chewing too hard. Either one of these scenarios can cause tingling in your teeth.
This condition most often happens when your tooth enamel has worn away, brushing too hard, or due to aging. It might also be a symptom of an existing medical issue such as GERD (chronic acid reflux) or an eating disorder such as bulimia.
The best approach to prevent this condition is not overconsuming acidic foods. If you do choose to consume these things, rinse your mouth out with water right after. When choosing a toothbrush, opt for soft bristle brushes and be gentle. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to stop aging, but eat a well-rounded diet and use supplements as needed.
The pulp is the soft, fleshy interior of your tooth that houses the blood vessels and nerve endings. When this area gets inflamed, it’s referred to as pulpitis.
Usually caused by a bacterial infection, pulpitis can give you symptoms such as pain and tingling in the teeth near the inflammation.
Sometimes, it’s possible to treat pulpitis by filling a cavity so that the pulp is protected. Other cases require a root canal to remove the pulp of the tooth for relief.
Trigeminal neuralgia—it’s a mouthful, literally. This chronic pain condition impacts the nerves on one or both sides of your face.
It makes jaw movement, brushing your teeth, and even eating and drinking painful at times. The pain is normally an intense tingling sensation and can be quite debilitating.
The condition can sometimes be helped with anticonvulsants such as Lyrica, Klonopin, Neurotonin, and more. These medications are designed to block the offending nerve signals from reaching your brain.
If medication doesn’t work, surgery and/or botox treatments might give some relief as well.
Burning Mouth Syndrome
Burning mouth syndrome causes a painful burning sensation in your mouth along with tingling of the tongue and teeth. It can develop as a symptom of another underlying condition such as allergies. However, it is also common to be a condition in its own right without any discernible cause.
Preventing Teeth From Tingling
For most patients, preventing this condition is best handled by practicing good oral hygiene. In most cases where a patient’s teeth are tingling, it’s due to poor oral health.
If you want to protect yourself from tooth infections and premature enamel wear, always do the following:
- Use a soft bristle toothbrush and replace it every 3 months on average.
- Stick to an enamel-friendly diet that favors more alkaline foods over harsh, acidic ones.
- Always use a bite guard when playing contact sports such as football.
- Brush your teeth twice daily and floss at least once per day
- If you suffer from teeth grinding, follow your dentist’s orders to prevent it.
- Keep regular checkup appointments with your dentist to maintain good oral health.
If Your Teeth Are Tingling—Contact Us!
If your teeth frequently tingle or are making you uncomfortable with pain—don’t ignore that signal. Teeth that tingle regularly can be your body trying to warn you of a pending dental issue. Failing to act and get the problem diagnosed can cost you in terms of health and finances.
Contact us today if you’re having issues with tingling teeth and we’ll schedule a consultation for you!