Unlike a headache, a toothache does not typically resolve itself, and although there are numerous reasons for your tooth to hurt, none of these causes are benign. Even if you were able to ignore the often-debilitating pain of a toothache, the underlying cause of it may lead to the loss of your tooth or more if left untreated. To help you find relief, Lafayette dentist Dr. Young explains some of the more common reasons behind tooth discomfort.
Causes of Tooth Discomfort
Tooth decay, which leads to small holes in your tooth called cavities, is a common source of dental discomfort and affects the permanent teeth of over 90% of adults in America. Tooth decay begins with a process called enamel erosion, during which acid produced by oral bacteria weaken your tooth enamel and sap your teeth of essential minerals. While enamel is the strongest substance your body produces, the dentin underneath it is softer and porous, with small tubules that feed sensory information to the nerves at the center of your tooth (in a chamber called the pulp). Once enamel has sufficiently eroded, bacteria can access your tooth’s softer, more sensitive structures and cause your tooth to hurt as infection sets in.
Acid erosion is the only manner in which your tooth’s enamel can wither away. If your teeth are misaligned, if you damage your teeth by habitually grinding them, or if you have TMJ disorder (a disorder of your jaw joints), your teeth can become excessively worn down and exposed.
Your periodontal (gum) tissue acts as a seal around the bottom portions of your teeth, supporting and shielding the enamel-less roots from infection. Unfortunately, this seal can weaken and lose its grip, whether from gum disease or simply from a lifetime of use. When your gum tissue separates from your teeth (recedes), the roots of your teeth become exposed and sensitive to bacteria, food debris, and changes in temperature.
Treat Your Toothache with Lafayette Dentist
If you live in the 70508 area and would like to learn more about treating your toothache or maintaining your oral health, schedule an appointment with Lafayette dentist, contact Dr. Young at (337) 237-6453. Located in the 70508 area, we proudly serve patients from Lafayette and all surrounding communities.