A painful tooth is usually not harmless, but a toothache is not a dental condition in itself. In fact, there are many reasons for your tooth to hurt, and if you’re interested in halting the discomfort, then treatment will depend on the cause. To help you understand, and therefore deal with, your painful or sensitive tooth, Miami dentist Dr. Arun Garg explains some of the more common causes of a toothache and how to treat them.
A Broken Tooth
When your tooth is cracked or broken, the soft tissue that lies under the enamel, called dentin, becomes exposed. Dentin’s surface is riddled with tiny tubules that feed sensory information to the tooth’s pulp, which houses the bundle of nerves and blood vessels that keep the tooth alive. Without the protection of the tooth’s enamel, the dentin becomes vulnerable to irritation from food debris and bacterial plaque, and the tooth is more vulnerable to bacterial infection and tooth decay. In most cases, a cracked tooth can be remedied and protected with the placement of a dental crown, which can hold the pieces of tooth together and protect it from infection and further damage.
Cavities describe holes that form in your teeth due to acid erosion and bacterial infection. Acid from your diet, or produced by oral bacteria from sugar, erode your tooth enamel, which also exposes the underlying layer of dentin. As the infection continues, it spreads from your tooth enamel, to your dentin, and if left unchecked, will continue down through the inside of your tooth and infect the pulp. Treating tooth decay depends on its severity, and in advanced cases, a root canal treatment or extraction may be necessary.
Although gum disease affects the gums, it can also lead to tooth sensitivity. After all, gum disease is the number one cause of adult tooth loss in America. Even before gum disease progresses enough to cost you a tooth, however, receding gums (which mark the beginning of gum disease) can expose the roots of your teeth, which are not protected by enamel. When these roots are exposed, any outside stimulation can result in excruciating discomfort for the extremely sensitive tooth roots. The early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, can usually be resolved with proper oral hygiene and some extra cleaning from your dentist. Advanced gum disease, however, requires more attention, and after a thorough consultation, Dr. Garg can suggest the proper course of treatment for your specific case.
Treating Toothaches in Miami
If your tooth gives you trouble that you cannot ignore, see Dr. Garg as soon as possible to determine the cause of your toothache. To learn more, schedule a consultation with your Miami dentist at the Center for Complete Dentistry by calling 305-935-4991, or visit our website to schedule your appointment online. Located in the 33180 area, we proudly serve patients from Miami, Highland Lakes, North Miami Beach, and the surrounding communities.