Dental Nerve

Dental Nerve Damage: What to Know About Symptoms & Treatment

Understanding dental nerve damage: Causes, and treatment

Dental nerve damage can lead to a constellation of uncomfortable sensations—numbness, tingling, and even burning. While these symptoms don’t always signify a major problem, it’s crucial to recognize the signs and seek professional dental advice. Ignoring these warning signals could worsen the underlying issue, ultimately impacting your oral health and overall well-being.

This article delves into what dental nerve damage is, its causes, identifying symptoms, available treatment options, and the possibility of making an injury claim if the damage resulted from negligent dental work.

Understanding Dental Nerve Damage

Our teeth aren’t simply solid structures. Within each tooth lies a network of nerves housed in the pulp – the soft, inner core. These nerves are vital for transmitting sensations like hot, cold, and pain. Dental nerve damage occurs when this delicate network of nerves is injured or compromised, disrupting their ability to function normally.

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What Causes Dental Nerve Damage?

There are several ways in which dental nerves can become damaged, including:

Tooth Decay:

If cavities are left untreated, the decay can penetrate deeply into the tooth, inflaming or infecting the nerve pulp.

Dental Trauma:

Impacts from accidents, sports injuries, or biting into hard objects can fracture a tooth, exposing and damaging the nerves.

Dental Procedures:

Certain dental procedures, like root canals, fillings, extractions, or dental implant placement, sometimes lead to unintentional nerve damage.

Gum Disease:

Severe gum disease (periodontitis) can erode the supporting bone and tissue around teeth, potentially harming the nerves.

Teeth Grinding:

Chronic teeth grinding (bruxism) puts excessive force on teeth, gradually wearing down the enamel and stressing the underlying nerves.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Dental Nerve Damage

Dental nerve damage manifests itself in different ways. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Numbness: Loss of sensation in the affected tooth, the surrounding gum area, lips, cheek, or even parts of the tongue and jaw.
  • Tingling or Pins and Needles: An uncomfortable “prickly” sensation in the areas supplied by the damaged nerve.
  • Burning Sensation: A persistent burning feeling in the mouth, even without any triggering factor.
  • Sharp, Shooting Pain: Sudden, intense pain triggered by hot, cold, sweet foods or beverages, or even a light touch.
  • Constant Dull Ache: A lingering, throbbing pain in the affected tooth or surrounding area.

It’s important to note that not everyone experiences all of these symptoms, and the severity can vary significantly.

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Treatment Options for Dental Nerve Damage

The appropriate treatment for dental nerve damage depends largely on the underlying cause and the extent of the damage. Your dentist is best placed to assess the situation and recommend suitable options.

Here are some possible treatments:

  • Filling or Crown: If the damage is due to mild or moderate decay, a filling or a crown can restore the tooth’s structure and protect the nerve.
  • Root Canal Therapy: When a nerve is infected or irreversibly inflamed, root canal therapy cleans out the infected pulp, and the space is sealed to prevent further problems.
  • Extraction: As a last resort, severely damaged teeth that cannot be saved may need extraction.
  • Medication: Over-the-counter pain relief medication or prescription-strength painkillers may help manage discomfort.
  • Addressing Underlying Causes: If conditions like gum disease or teeth grinding caused the nerve damage, it’s essential to treat those issues to prevent further complications.

Dental Nerve Damage and Personal Injury Claims

Sometimes, dental nerve damage occurs due to dental negligence – substandard care that falls below what’s reasonably expected of a dental professional. If nerve damage is a direct result of negligence, you might be eligible to make a personal injury claim.

Making a Medical Negligence Claim with National Claims

At National Claims, we understand that dental procedures can occasionally go wrong, even under the care of experienced professionals. If you believe your dental nerve damage resulted from substandard or negligent dental treatment, our team is here to help. We specialize in guiding patients through medical negligence claims, helping them secure the compensation they deserve for the pain, discomfort, and potential long-term consequences of nerve damage, then we will connect you with a solicitor from our panel who will be able to assess your case.

Free Consultation

Let’s start with a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case. We’ll listen to your experience and carefully assess the circumstances leading to your dental nerve damage. This allows us to give you initial advice on whether you may have a strong medical negligence claim.

*No Win, No Fee

National Claims believes that access to justice shouldn’t be limited by financial worry. For this reason, we operate on a “No Win, No Fee” basis. You won’t pay any upfront legal fees. Our fees are contingent on whether your claim is successful, allowing you to pursue your case without undue financial stress.

*Customers pay up to 25% (incl. VAT) of the amount recovered towards solicitor costs and if you cancel outside your cooling off period, you may be charged a fee.


Numbness, tingling, and burning sensations in your mouth shouldn’t be ignored. These could be signs of dental nerve damage, and early intervention is often crucial to successful treatment and saving your tooth. If you experience any of the symptoms discussed, schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible. Your dentist can diagnose the problem, recommend appropriate treatment, and preserve your oral health.

Contact us today to speak to one of our claims agents who will be able to help you get started on your claim.

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