Many people think of their teeth as hard, tough, and free of sensation. When we chew, we don’t feel our teeth crushing carrots or tearing through bread. For the most part, our teeth really are not designed to send sensory information to our brains. The outer layers of the tooth—enamel and dentin—do not have any nerves, however the inner core of the tooth—the dental pulp—has blood vessels, tissues, and nerves.
So when you have a toothache and you feel pain in your tooth, it means that your dental nerves are exposed somehow. This means that the dentin and enamel layers have been compromised—they’re no longer able to adequately protect the dental pulp and nerves.
What kinds of things can damage dentin and enamel?
· The first thing that most patients think of is dental decay—cavities. Cavities will indeed diminish enamel and dentin. Left untreated, cavities will move from the outer layers of the tooth into the dental pulp. When the infection reaches your nerves, the nerves will become inflamed and infected, leading to pain.
· Obviously, if you damage a tooth in an accident, you can also damage your dental nerves. Cracked our chipped teeth are not only aesthetically unappealing, they can also cause significant pain.
· Gum disease can surreptitiously damage your teeth as the infection moves from your gum tissues up into the dental pulp. At the same time, gum disease, if left untreated, can weaken the tissues that actually hold your teeth in place, so eventually your teeth will become loose and can even fall out.
If you notice a toothache, you should seek treatment from a our Toluca Lake dentist office right away. The structural problems that lead to dental pain need to be addressed with restorative dentistry—your teeth will not be able to clear the infection and regenerate tooth structures by themselves.
Our Toluca Lake dentist office can give you more information and support—just give us a call!