Achieving a Megawatt Smile Gets Easier Every Day

Why A Pink Tooth May Need Emergency Treatment

You're unlikely to be unaware of the accident that bruised your tooth since it would require a moderate to strong physical impact. Though it may not hurt at the time, your teeth could suddenly turn a noticeable shade of pink. Your tooth (or rather its internal nerve) has become bruised. Is this a dental emergency?

Pulp Chamber

Each tooth has a pulp chamber at its center, and this is where the tooth's nerve (also called the pulp) is found. You may have experienced an injury where swelling and bruising didn't peak until after the event, and the same principle applies to a bruised tooth pulp. 

Potential Pain

Yes, you can see a bruised, internal tooth pulp from the exterior of the tooth. As this swelling increases, the tooth's nerve presses against the wall of the pulp chamber. The tooth's nerve is the only part of the tooth that's capable of feeling pain, and you may not even be aware of this capability until you've experienced the serious unpleasantness of a bruised tooth.

Quick Treatment

If your bruised tooth is causing pain, please consult an emergency dentist for quick treatment. The swelling (and therefore, your pain) may not yet have peaked, and you need to seek treatment before the condition escalates any further. The color of your tooth also helps to determine the true nature of your injury.

Pain Relief and Testing

An emergency dentist can administer immediate pain relief (over-the-counter pain medication may only have minimal effect on this type of tooth injury), and will likely perform an x-ray. This helps them to verify the extent of your injuries, although, as mentioned, the color of the tooth is also relevant. 

Internal Trauma

A lighter shade of bruising (typically pink or close to pink) suggests internal trauma, and although recovery might be possible, your tooth might be undergoing root resorption, when the injury was so severe that your immune system has begun to release cells called odontoclasts, which aid in breaking down tooth roots. This is your body essentially abandoning a tooth that is unlikely to survive. 


Quick intervention can save the tooth, so you'll want to visit the dentist quickly. Removal of the damaged pulp (root canal treatment) may be able to solve the issue. A pink tooth may not necessarily be experiencing root resorption, and ideally, all an emergency dentist will do is provide pain relief as needed, and then confirm the ongoing vitality of the tooth pulp with an x-ray. 

A pink tooth may return to its usual color without much intervention, but it can also eventually lead to the loss of the tooth. It's best to err on the side of caution and seek immediate dental treatment.

Call an emergency dentist to learn more.