Bruised Tooth: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Basically, bruised tooth is a dental condition that occurs when too much pressure on the teeth twist the tooth ligaments. There are ligaments in your teeth, which act as shock absorbers that cushion your teeth from everyday use. These ligaments in your tooth gab get damaged or inflamed if it is to absorb so much shock and pressure. This can sprain the ligaments, leading to a dental problem known as bruised tooth or otherwise known as sprained tooth syndrome.


Generally, a bruised tooth is caused by too much pressure put on the ligament of your tooth, from biting too hard into your food or hitting your tooth on a hard surface.
But there are other ways you can sprain your tooth, like :- grinding your teeth at night, prolonged tooth infection, clenching your teeth, nail biting, dental surgery, overfilled or underfilled cavity, bitting on hard food, sinus problems, trauma from objects like bones, seeds, kernels or ice.


After pressure has been put on the ligaments of your tooth, the soft tissue and ligaments around your tooth absorbed the pressure. This causes the capillaries around your tooth to burst and travel through the opening at the tip of the root of your teeth, leading to a pink or gray discoloration of your tooth and the pain follows. 
The moment you begin to feel the lingering pain in your tooth, you should seek medical help at once.


The American Dental Association(ADA) has put up a means of telling how severe your bruised tooth is, given the colour of the tooth.

PINK: If the discolouration that occurs on your bruised tooth appears pinkish, it could be in a stage where it is assisting in nerve protection, or as ADA put it, “pink means the tooth could be striving to survive”.
So if this is the case, your tooth might heal itself. But sometimes, it could be a sign of internal root resorption, which can lead to tooth loss.

GRAY: On the other hand, when discolouration is gray, it means the pulp inside your teeth is no longer vital and at risk of getting infected or decayed. Typically, the next step is probably to have a root canal procedure, followed by capping the tooth with a crown.
However, it doesn’t matter the colour of discolouration, you should have regular dentist appointments so you will know how severe your bruised tooth is.


The first symptom you will experience will be pain which may be dull or sharp, and sometimes can be localized in one tooth. Other symptoms of a bruised tooth are:- inflammation, redness , bleeding gum- sensitivity, soreness, discolouration . If bruised-tooth becomes infected, it may lead to gingivitis.


When you experience any of the symptoms of a bruised tooth, you should reach out to your dentist first.
If your tooth has suffered any trauma, but it does not move from its socket, nor does it crack, the first cause of action will be to monitor that tooth and make sure it doesn’t suffer any further damage.
Treatment can be based on the cause of the bruised-tooth. In some cases, a root canal may be needed to treat a bruised-tooth.

If your teeth are bruised as a result of tooth grinding, your dentist might suggest a custom mouthguard that will help stop the constant trauma your mouth received when you grind your teeth, as this mostly occurs at night.

The mouthguard does not only protect your teeth but also your ligaments and gums.
Being that we use our mouths every time and we can’t sideline our teeth in doing that, a bruised tooth will not heal easily.
But while trying to heal, there are a few things the dentist will suggest to help the healing process:


(1)Take over-the-counter pain relievers: The pain caused by a bruised-tooth can be reduced or even completely gone by the use of OTC medications like ibuprofen, which your dentist might recommend.

(2) Rest: as simple as that sounds, to speed up the healing process of a bruised tooth, rest is essential. You should avoid chewing and talking as much as possible.
(3)Eat soft foods or food in liquid form when healing.
(4) If you clench your teeth or grind your teeth often, getting a mouthguard is advisable.


Most times, a bruised-tooth results from sports trauma. It is essential to protect your teeth from bruising or other injuries by using a mouthguard. Other preventive measures are :

  • Maintain good oral hygiene
  • Go for routine dental checks at a dentist’s
  • Chew your food carefully
  • Avoid very hard foods
  • Try to avoid the habit of grinding your teeth or use a mouthguard.


A bruised-tooth is caused as a result of a lot of pressure absorbed by the ligaments of your teeth. This pressure sprains the ligaments leading to a bruised tooth. 
Sometimes a bruised tooth can heal itself, but you should seek medical attention still, once you notice the signs and symptoms of a bruised-tooth.

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