When a natural tooth is healthy, it should feel much of anything beyond the pressure that’s exerted upon it when you bite and chew your food. This is largely because the tooth’s nerves are tucked safely away within the tooth’s pulp chamber, surrounded by dense tooth material (known as dentin) and highly mineralized enamel. However, there are several conditions that can cause one or more of your teeth to grow sensitive, or even painful. Today, we take a look at a few of the most common reasons, as well as a few steps that can help you improve your chances of avoiding a chronic toothache.
What it means when a tooth hurts
- Your tooth’s enamel is getting weaker – Your tooth enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth, and it’s made almost completely out of tightly bound mineral strands (such as calcium). Though highly resilient, enamel can grow weak for a number of reasons, such as overexposure to acids produced by oral bacteria or found in your food and beverages.
- Your tooth has a cavity in it – Tooth enamel getting weaker exposes your tooth’s dentin to sensitivity, but the problem could get worse as the sensitivity grows more intense. Once enamel gets weak and compromised enough, it won’t be long before bacteria reach the dentin and lead to the development of a cavity.
- Your tooth is damaged somewhere – Tooth decay and cavities are common reasons for teeth to grow sensitive, but they aren’t the only reasons. Your tooth can also become compromised if it sustains a chip, crack, or break somewhere, and the damage might not be immediately noticeable. Over time, however, it will grow increasingly more sensitive, and the damage can grow increasingly worse, the longer the damage is ignored.
- Your teeth are being worn down – Tooth damage comes in many different forms, including being worn down due to excessive pressure and friction. For example, if you grind your teeth constantly (such as if you have bruxism) or you aren’t careful about using your teeth for things other than biting and chewing food, then your teeth could wear down excessively. This can make teeth more sensitive as the enamel and tooth structure continuously wear down.
Learn more about toothaches
A toothache might be minor or serious depending on its cause, but in many cases, it can also be prevented with consistently good hygiene and care. To learn more, schedule an appointment with us by calling Dreem Dentistry in Leawood, KS, today at 913-681-5500.