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Tooth Pain Nervous Please Respond ASAP (Have Dental Appointment Tomorrow)



May 15, 2013
Good Evening:

Healthy 36M here with all my teeth (except my wisdom teeth all extracted decades ago):

I have intermittent, on/off tooth pain and sensitivity in #14 molar. Most of the time it is pain free, but occasionally it just lets me know its alive and I experience mild pain when doing nothing to bother it, but that subsides. It certainly seems like there is something wrong. #14's history is that it had a composite filling placed around 2012. It is more cold sensitive than hot sensitive by far, but nonetheless if I bite into something hot or cold in just such a way it touches the sensitive spot, I get a brief, sharp jolt of pain that stops as quick as it starts though I still think cold causes a sharper pain than hot. Drinking something cold or hot does not hurt. Actual pressure on the tooth doesn't hurt for example I could chew beef jerky fine. Using my fingers, I can can place pressure on all the roots above all those the gums of those teeth and outside my upper jaw without any pain whatsoever. My Sonicare "vibrating" toothbrush does not hurt. Tapping on it with the plastic handle of a toothbrush does not hurt. A water pick at just the right angle at the above sensitive spot sometimes causes excruciating pain more so if the pressure is high and the water is not warm.

This year that dental quadrant started causing me dental discomfort and mild pain, which I went to the dentist to address. A few months ago, I was only getting pain when I bit into something very sweet, but it seemed further forward of #14 in other teeth that were also filled during the same appointment in 2012.

Had two fillings replaced in teeth further forward of #14 and that has about 95% resolved all sweet sensitivity, but I can still feel some sweet sensitivity further back.


Originally back in 2012, I had no tooth pain before the original fillings were placed though I had sensitivity to anything sweet, which was resolved when fillings were placed. I really trust this dentist, the procedure to fix those two teeth was as comfortable as it gets in that I experienced virtually no pain.

Concern: The thing is I never had a tooth drilled and filled that was experiencing any pre-op pain whatsoever before drilling and filling. That said, the X-Ray does NOT look very bad in that nothing appears to be close to the pulp, but it is dark under the old filling on #14.

Questions. I realize you are not my dentist, have not examined me, etc., so I will try to keep these questions general:

Can tooth decay under a patient's old filling cause mild, intermittent discomfort/pain, and sharp pain when patient bites into something particularly cold?

2. Could a patient describing the same symptoms I describe above be experiencing reversible pulpitis?

3. Does removing decay and placing fillings (or replacing old leaking fillings) often lead to relief for many of your patients?

What makes me nervous is what if after the numbing wears off after and I am in intense pain with a throbbing toothache? Is that likely? It has never happened before, and I don't have a throbbing toothache now. Will things likely end up going well?
1: Yes but so can some other things
2: Maybe
3: Yes
4: It's not likely
For #4 my question was bad. Is it not likely things will go Well, or not likely I will end up with a horrible toothache?
It's far more likely that you will be fine than not.
Thank you.... Thank You... Thank you...

Confirmed. Reporting back... I think things went just fine *knocks on wood* because it is early being only 3 hours since receiving Articaine. I think I am fully back to normal sensation.

The cleaning before the restorative procedure hurt more particularly when water got blasted between that tooth and it’s failed restoration. Overall it felt great.

That said, I was in some minor intermittent pain before we begun that tooth felt sensitive, but the local anesthesia felt great. The pain literally ceased completely for the first time in weeks. It would intermittently not hurt at all anyway. Strangely I did not believe I was numb because I could feel my tongue , lips, cheek, etc., but he checked and I was numb.

He drilled and pulled out the low speed burr and very gingerly cleaned, and assured me the filling is small to medium nowhere near the pulp. That the tooth appears healthy on X-Ray, and the long-term prognosis is Good or better.

He meticulously adjusted my bite then polished and polished some more. Verified with floss... Told me new fillings can take up to two weeks to feel normal, but usually within a few days it should feel better.

All I can say is WOW. I kept wondering when the numbing would wear off only to realize it has. I now have a very minor cold sensitivity maybe 1 out of 10. I think it is actually half as sensitive as before the procedure. :) Even better the intermittent, spontaneous, recurring pain I was feeling is 80% improved and is occurring maybe only 10% as often.

The tooth already feels somewhat better than it has in weeks. If it continues to improve, I think it may well recover 100%. I will be so happy if I can put all this behind me and avoid a root canal.


I did get a prescription filled for the Colgate PreviDent 5000 ppm 1.1% Sodium Flouride and 5% Potassium Nitrate. I am told to use it only once a day and for the other brushing use whatever, but the best is a Non-Whitening, ADA approved, Stannous Fluoride toothpaste... that it may be best to find one with minimal to no SLS foaming agent as it causes irritation for some patients. That both of these contain different active ingredients approved in reducing decay and sensitivity. He said all major brands generally have toothpastes that meet the requirements, but If I am just going to shop by brand, it is hard to best Sensodyne... and that I will find they taste great, too.