There’s a Reason for Your Toothache

Pain is your body’s way of telling you something’s wrong, and your teeth are no exception. Under normal circumstances, your teeth shouldn’t feel anything outside of the pressure from biting and chewing. If they’re sensitive, it’s likely because their defenses are weakened, and you may require professional treatment to find relief from your toothache.

Why Teeth Aren’t Sensitive

The outer layer surrounding your teeth, called enamel, is the most resilient substance that your body produces. In fact, it’s more resilient than any other substance on earth, except for diamonds. Tooth enamel is also comprised almost completely of mineral crystals, and doesn’t contain any living tissue. The layer of enamel protects your teeth from bacteria and irritations like food or hot and cold temperatures. If your teeth begin to feel, then enamel isn’t doing its job, probably because it’s been weakened or partially destroyed.

Why Some Teeth Hurt

Though strong, tooth enamel isn’t impervious. Its greatest enemy is oral bacteria, some of which convert sugar, starches, and carbohydrates into acid. As germs form plaque and cling to your teeth, the acid they produce attacks tooth enamel while sapping teeth of the minerals they need to refortify it. If acid erosion outpaces your enamel’s ability to regain its strength (remineralization), then enamel can develop irreversible holes that expose teeth to infectious bacteria. As the dentin underneath enamel becomes infected, it sends sensory information to the nerves at the center of your tooth, causing varying levels of sensitivity.

How to Ease Your Toothache

Weak enamel can often be strengthened with improved dental hygiene and appropriate preventive measures, like fluoride treatments. The mineral fluoride strengthens thin layers of enamel by bonding to its surface. However, once enamel is damaged, it can’t be repaired, and relieving your toothache may involve restorative treatment, like a dental filling, to address a developing cavity. Aside from tooth decay, gum disease can also cause your teeth to hurt by destroying the tissue surrounding their roots, which aren’t covered by tooth enamel. If you suffer from a toothache, visit Dr. Wright as soon as possible for a thorough examination to determine the cause.

About Your Southlake Dentists:

As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.