My Tooth Hurts When I Tap On It: Expert Tips and Solutions for Sensitive Teeth

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If you typed ‘My tooth hurts when I tap on it’ into Google, you’re not alone and we are here to provide you with the information you need. Discover effective home remedies and expert treatment options for relief and protection against future pain.

It can hurt and be uncomfortable to have sensitive teeth. It can happen when the dentin beneath the enamel, the tooth’s outermost coating, is exposed due to wear and tear. Particularly when the tooth is tapped or exposed to hot or cold temperatures, this can result in sensitivity and pain. 

Dental sensitivity may be brought on by gum disease, tooth decay, or even certain lifestyle choices. Finding the best solution and comfort depends on knowing what is causing your tooth sensitivity in the first place.

Common causes of sensitive tooth pain

Here are some of the most common underlying causes for sensitive toot pain:

Tooth decay

Decay can weaken the tooth structure and lead to sensitivity, especially when tapping or biting down.

Gum recession or periodontal disease

When gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, the roots of the teeth can become exposed. This can lead directly to sensitivity and discomfort, particularly when eating hot or cold foods, or tapping your t00th.

Having a chipped or cracked tooth 

Chips or cracks can weaken the tooth structure and even expose the sensitive interior, causing pain when tapping your tooth.

Bruxism (teeth grinding)

Grinding or clenching the teeth can put excessive pressure on them, and this can end up causing them to become sensitive.

Over-consuming acidic foods and drinks

Consuming acidic foods and drinks can erode the tooth enamel, ultimately leading to sensitivity.

To choose the most effective course of dental treatment, it’s key to first determine the cause of your sensitive tooth pain. Your dentist can advise on the best courses of action and assist in identifying the problem.

Home remedies for sensitive tooth pain

If you are experiencing tooth pain, here are a few at-home remedies that can help you temporarily alleviate the pain:

  • Ibuprofen and other over-the-counter pain medicines can help with dental discomfort. 
  • To lessen pain and inflammation, rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times per day. 
  • Avoiding trigger foods and beverages – Steer clear of acidic foods that may cause sensitivity as well as hot or cold foods and beverages. 
  • Take over-the-counter painkillers

It’s crucial to keep in mind that these at-home solutions are not a permanent fix for tooth sensitivity, and you should still visit the dentist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment strategy.

When to see your dentist 

You should always seek dental advice if your tooth sensitivity persists for more than a few days, or if it is accompanied by painful and swollen gums

Additionally, if you experience significant tooth loss or damage, it is crucial to see a dentist as soon as possible. A dentist can perform a thorough examination and determine the underlying cause of your tooth sensitivity. Early treatment can help to prevent further damage and preserve your oral health.

Preventative measures to take

To reduce tooth sensitivity and lower the likelihood of future discomfort, prevention is essential. Here are some precautions to take into account: 

  • Good oral hygiene habits including twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and mouthwash use can help stop gum disease and tooth decay. 
  • Checkups and cleanings at the dentist on a regular basis can help identify and address any potential issues before they worsen. 
  • Using toothpaste for sensitive teeth can assist to soothe and relieve the pain of sensitive teeth. 

You can contribute to the preservation of good dental health and avert further bouts of tooth sensitivity by putting these preventative actions into practise.

Treatment options

If your tooth hurts whenever you tap on it, here are the most effective treatment options available. Keep in mind that only a dental professional can suggest the best course of action for your unique needs and to offer long-lasting relief from tooth sensitivity.

Tooth decay treatment

Tooth decay can be addressed with dental fillings or bonding by removing the decayed region and then filling it with the appropriate material. 

Root canal treatment

Treatment with a root canal may be required if the pulp of the tooth is infected or inflamed, which is the most common cause of dental sensitivity. 

Gum recession and disease treatment

Treatment options for gum disease if gum recession is the root of tooth sensitivity include extensive cleaning, antibiotic prescriptions, and gum surgery. 

Final thoughts on sensitive teeth pain symptoms and how to treat the

Unfortunately, sensitive teeth pain is rather common, and most people will end up experiencing it at least once in their lives. Dental sensitivity can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort, but timely attention and appropriate treatment can offer comfort. Important things to keep in mind are: 

  • Recognizing the typical reasons of dental sensitivity, such as decay, recession of the gums, and grinding. 
  • Using natural therapies, such as over-the-counter painkillers and steering clear of trigger foods and beverages, can offer momentary relief. 
  • Implementing proactive efforts to lessen the likelihood of future discomfort, such as practising proper oral hygiene and using a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. 

If the discomfort lasts for more than a few days, seek dental counsel for quick treatment, such as fillings, root canal therapy, or treatment for gum disease. 

Remember that maintaining good oral health requires rapid care to tooth sensitivity. If you are in discomfort, don’t be afraid to ask a dentist for help.


What does it mean when I tap my tooth and it hurts?

When you tap your tooth and it aches, you probably have sensitive teeth. This indicates that the dentin, the innermost layer of the tooth, is exposed and susceptible to stimuli that are hot, cold, sweet, or acidic. 

Your dentist can treat tooth sensitivity using a range of techniques, such as fillings, root canal therapy, or gum disease treatment. Tooth sensitivity can be brought on by a number of circumstances, including tooth decay, gum recession, and grinding. It’s crucial to visit a dentist for a correct diagnosis and treatment plan if you have tooth sensitivity.

What to do if your tooth hurts when you touch it?

It’s important to respond if a tooth hurts when you touch it because this is a sign of tooth sensitivity. You can follow the instructions listed below: 

Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing frequently to maintain healthy teeth and gums, use a sensitive tooth toothpaste. Specialty toothpastes can assist to calm and ease the pain of sensitive teeth, only consume hot, cold, and acidic foods and beverages sparingly. These foods and beverages can cause sensitivity. 

It is also a good idea to visit a dentist, as only a dentist can determine what is causing your teeth to be sensitive and can suggest the best course of action, such as fillings, root canal therapy, or gum disease treatment. In addition to offering pain treatment in the moment, your dentist can also help you avoid further pain flare-ups.

Dr Febin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Febin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.