It’s no secret that tooth pain is unpleasant. It often goes beyond the pain itself, affecting one’s ability to eat, sleep, and enjoy life. Before your dentist can help alleviate your tooth pain, he’ll need to get to the root of the problem, so let’s explore some common causes of tooth pain.
Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that occurs after plaque (the sticky, white substance that’s filled with bacteria) that has turned into tartar along the gum lines. The tartar causes the gums to become irritated and swollen. Sometimes, if left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis, an infection that can lead to the deterioration of the gum line, bone loss, and a loss of teeth.
Regular dental cleanings help reduce plaque and tartar, keeping gums healthy.
Tooth decay happens when plaque has formed on the enamel (outside) of the tooth. The bacteria within the plaque produce an acid, which eventually begins to eat away at the enamel. Over time, this erosion leaves the tooth enamel vulnerable to cavities. While cavities themselves aren’t usually painful, untreated tooth decay can expose the tooth’s dentin (the inside of the tooth). This part of the tooth is sensitive and needs the protection of natural enamel or cosmetic dentistry solutions to avoid being painful.
Bruxism is the medical term for teeth-grinding. People who grind their teeth may not even realize they’re doing it—especially if the habit happens while they’re sleeping. Bruxism can lead to a host of oral health problems, including:
- Chipped, fractured, or cracked teeth
- Flattened tops of teeth
- Facial pain
- Sensitivity to cold, heat, or pressure
- Chewed wounds on the tongue or cheek
Inflammation of the Tooth Pulp (Pulpitis)
The pulp is in the center of the tooth where the nerves and tissue live. When it becomes inflamed or irritated—often as a result of decay or trauma—it can cause tremendous sensitivity to various stimuli (hot and cold temperatures, in particular).
If you’re in the Woodbury, MN area and experiencing tooth pain, contact our team at Woodlane Family & Cosmetic Dentistry as soon as possible. We’d love to help you feel better!