Symptom Checker


The information contained on this page should only act as a general indication of the causes of dental and facial pain and discomfort and not be used as a diagnostic tool.  You should always consult with your dentist.  You should follow the advice of your dentist and attend for regular dental examinations and oral hygiene visits.


What is the problem?
Broke my tooth/crown/filling
Dull toothache
Severe toothache
Cold sensitivity
Heat sensitivity
Bite sensitivity
Loose tooth/teeth
Knocked a tooth out
Pain one side of the face
Swelling with/without pain
Discomfort after new filling/crown
Discomfort after new denture
Pain after root canal treatment
Mouth ulcer
Discomfort after hygienist visit

Possible causes

It is a very common misconception that patients feel their mouths have been damaged by the treatment. This is understandable, as you likely went in to the dentist with no pain or noticeable problems and are left with sore teeth for days afterward. So, while we all like to avoid pain, sore gums following a cleaning can actually be an indicator that good things are happening. But the reasons for the pain are;

If you had a lot of tartar build-up, although this can do great harm, it insulates the teeth against the cold/heat etc. So as tartar strips away your gums, it also covers the underlying tooth surface, so you are not aware of any issues. Take this tartar away (as must be done) and the teeth are sensitive for a few days or more. So the sensitivity is not directly due to the scaling, but down to the removal of tartar.

Some people have sensitive teeth and the scaling can upset the trigger the nerve endings, leading to transient pain.

If you have inflamed gums, these may also become painful as a reaction to the cleaning. This should settle down within a few days.

How to manage issue in the meantime

Heat therapy, e.g. hot salt water, coffee/tea held over the are.
Desensiting toothpastes and mouthwashes as recommended by your hygienist.
CONTINUE to clean your teeth and gums thoroughly even when they are sensitive.

Appointment urgency

Routine appointment at your earliest convenience ONLY if the teeth or gums don’t settle down.

Discomfort after periodontal/gum treatment
Pain/bleeding after tooth removal