Many patients don’t think of their teeth as sensitive in nature, as we chew - we don’t feel our teeth crushing carrots or tearing through bread. In fact we think of our teeth as hard, tough, and free of sensation. For the most part, our teeth were not made to send sensory information to our brains. This is true because the outer layers of the tooth, (enamel and dentin) do not contain nerves. Blood vessels, tissues, and nerves are found in the inner core of the tooth, also known as the dental pulp.
In the event that enamel and dentin have been damaged, patients start to feel pain in the teeth. Toothaches are the result of exposed nerves, meaning that dentin and enamel layers are no longer able to adequately protect the dental pulp and nerves.
What types of things typically damage dentin and enamel?
- The most commonly known reason is dental decay - (cavities). Cavities diminish enamel and dentin. Dental decay will move from the outer layers of the tooth to the dental pulp when left untreated. Nerves quickly become inflamed, and infected which leads to pain when this decay reaches the inner parts of the tooth.
- In the event that teeth are cracked or chipped in an accident, quite obviously dental nerves become damaged. Not only are cracked or chipped teeth physically unattractive, they are also very painful.
- Gum disease is another way that dentin and enamel become damaged as the infection spreads from gum tissues into the dental pulp. Teeth will eventually become loose and even fall out as gum disease weakens the tissues that hold the teeth in place. This is why it is extremely important not to leave gum disease untreated.
- Dr. McKay and team at the Toluca Lake dentist office is ready to help if you are experiencing a toothache. Dental pain that is caused by structural problems must be addressed by restorative dentistry. It’s important to understand that teeth are not able to clear infections and regenerate tooth structures by themselves.
Our team at the Toluca Lake dentist office is equipped and happy to provide information and support, give us a call or schedule a consultation today!
How to Identify Toothaches and When to Seek Treatment