What Does It Mean When Your Teeth Are Pulsing But Not Painful?

A pulsing tooth that isn't accompanied by pain may be distracting, but is it really worth worrying about? Although a pulsing tooth isn't always a sign that something has gone wrong, it should still be examined by your dentist in case it is an early symptom of a more serious dental problem. These are four of the most common causes behind a pulsing tooth, as well as what can be done to repair the issue. 

Ruling Out Sinus Pressure

When you are suffering from a cold or sinus infection, your sinuses may become swollen and inflamed and exert extra pressure on the nerves of your teeth. This can raise the blood pressure of those nerves, magnifying your heartbeat within any affected teeth. This may be accompanied by pain in severe cases, but both symptoms should disappear along with your sinus troubles. If your pulsing tooth began around the same time you got sick, it may be advisable to wait a few days to see if it clears up on its own. 

Catching Early Symptoms of Pulpitis

Without a concurrent sinus infection, it is likely that the problem lies within the tooth itself. Pulpitis, or the inflammation of the pulp inside your tooth, can develop for a number of reasons, and not all of them will require a cavity or a root canal. If your throbbing tooth is rarely painful, such as responding only to cold temperatures, you may be dealing with reversible pulpitis, which can be treated without corrective surgery. Otherwise, you may need to have your tooth filled or the root removed to eliminate the inflammation and associated infection. 

Examining for Cracks and Root Damage

In other cases, physical trauma to the tooth may be responsible for your pulp's inflammation. If your tooth has cracked, you may be able to see the fracture yourself through a quick inspection in the mirror. Some cracks, however, are so fine that it will take a dentist's pick to suss them out. Alternatively, blunt force trauma to your jaw or gum line can damage the roots of your teeth. Although this injury is out of sight, it can still potentially lead to lingering or permanent damage. Cracks of sufficient size generally cannot be repaired, and the tooth will need to be pulled.

Testing the Integrity of Existing Crowns or Fillings 

If the tooth in question has already been filled or undergone a root canal, throbbing may be a sign that your cap or filling has come loose and needs to be replaced. You can test the cap yourself by wiggling it gently with your finger. Pain or wobbling both indicate that the cap has failed, allowing bacteria to enter the interior of your tooth. No matter what the cause of your pulsing tooth, having it diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible by dentists at Westowne Dental or a similar business will guarantee that it doesn't grow into a more serious problem later on.