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All Posts in Category: Tooth Sensitivity

toothache symptoms

5 Reasons Why You May Be Experiencing A Tooth Ache?

Toothache is undoubtedly the most common complaint heard by dentists. A toothache refers to any type of pain or discomfort that originates near a person’s teeth, gums, or jaw. While toothaches are often associated with cavities, not all tooth pain is caused by dental caries. Knowing what causes toothaches can help you prevent them in the future.

Tooth Decay

Many people equate tooth decay with a hole in the tooth, but not all cavities are visible from the outside. Tooth decay occurs when specific types of bacteria in the mouth produce acids that destroy enamel and dentin, the outermost layers of tooth. If the enamel and dentin layers are allowed to break down, the decay will eventually reach the pulp (nerve) of the tooth, causing toothache, infection, and ultimately tooth loss. A healthy diet coupled with routine dental care practices can be highly effective in warding off tooth decay.

Damaged Filling

Pain can occur when fillings become loose or damaged. In some cases, pain is only felt when you touch or bite your teeth together. This happens when the filling alters your bite. A trip to your dentist to have the filling reshaped will usually eliminate the pain. Damaged fillings can also cause sensitivity. Described as a sharp pain, this sensitivity lasts only seconds when the tooth touches something hot or cold. You may also experience a condition known as referred pain. This is pain that occurs in other teeth besides the one with the filling. Referred pain usually decreases on its own over several weeks.

Abscessed Tooth

One of the more painful toothaches occurs due to an abscessed tooth. A tooth abscess is a localized collection of pus that generally forms at the root of the tooth. Bacteria from plaque can build up when food and saliva stick to the teeth and gums. If the plaque is not removed through routine brushing and flossing, the bacteria can enter the soft tissue inside the tooth or gum, resulting in an abscess. The most common signs and symptoms of an abscessed tooth include pain, fever, and a bad taste in the mouth.

Infected Gums

Mild tooth sensitivity can occur when the gums shrink or recede. A tooth that has not yet broken through the gums (impacted tooth) can also cause the area around the tooth to be red, sore, and swollen. Healthy gums are firm, pink, and do not bleed easily. While the gum disease gingivitis does not usually cause pain, a more advanced gum disease known as periodontitis affects the bone and tissues surrounding the teeth. Periodontist is caused by a long-term infection of the gums and can cause toothaches and eventually loose teeth that may need to be removed.

Tooth Fracture

Tooth fractures can range from minor chips in the outer tooth layers to severe cracks that form down to the tooth root. A tooth fracture may present with a variety of symptoms, such as erratic pain when chewing, pain when the tooth is exposed to extreme hot or cold temperatures, and pain with the release of biting pressure. An early diagnosis of a tooth fracture can typically be treated with bonding material or a root canal. If the crack extends below the gum line, it is no longer treatable.

A toothache is one of the most difficult types of pain to endure. While many causes of toothaches can be treated with early intervention, some badly damaged or infected teeth may not be salvageable and will require extraction. If you’re experiencing any type of mouth pain, contact your dentist for an evaluation.

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Scientists Create New Treatment for Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth may not seem like a serious problem, but for those living with it, drinking and eating can be unpleasant to the point where they avoid certain foods. Adjusting a diet to include only lukewarm food and drinks to avoid tooth sensitivity is not necessary with today’s treatment options. Fortunately, new research is focused on a highly effective treatment for sensitive teeth that can greatly improve the lives of many patients.

Dentin and Sensitive Teeth

When the dentin of teeth becomes exposed through wearing down of the enamel, this results in sensitive teeth. Softer than enamel and porous, dentin contains tiny microtubules that transmit messages to teeth nerve endings, and this causes the pain and discomfort associated with sensitive teeth. Tooth enamel protects dentin from extremes in temperature, but when enamel wears down through cavities, gum disease, and teeth grinding, it leaves dentin vulnerable.

Treatments for Sensitive Teeth

Current treatments for sensitive teeth include sealants in toothpaste that cover the exposed dentin microtubules. Unfortunately, this only provides temporary relief because the seal wears off easily with normal eating and drinking. Dental sealants can provide longer relief from sensitivity, but they too wear off after time.

Scientific Breakthrough in Sensitivity Treatment

Scientists recently developed a material called a biomimetic crystalline dentin barrier that has the potential to end tooth sensitivity. The biomimetic material made from nanoparticles of phosphoric acid and calcium carbonate turn up the volume of those particles already present in saliva. Increasing the particles important to enamel restoration and formation can reduce or prevent sensitivity. By applying the material directly to the teeth, it provides an artificial barrier capable of blocking dentin’s microtubules from exposure to uncomfortable temperature changes in food and drink. The biomimetic material can also increase regeneration of enamel and reduce the risk of additional health issues associated with worn enamel. The scientists responsible for creating the material hope that it can relieve the symptoms and source of sensitive teeth.

Prevention is Best Treatment

Although the new material can help those with sensitive teeth, the best treatment for sensitive teeth is preventing enamel loss through great oral hygiene and regular dental visits. There are other causes of sensitive teeth aside from worn enamel and ignoring pain when eating or drinking cold or hot substances can lead to dental issues that require treatment that is more involved.

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Woman experiencing tooth sensitivity to hot and cold

4 Options for Treating Tooth Sensitivity

If you’re someone who has sensitive teeth, you know that brushing, flossing, drinking, and eating can create sharp pains. This usually-temporary pain is unpleasant and makes such daily activities a challenge. The causes of sensitive teeth include worn tooth enamel, exposed tooth roots, recent whitening, a cavity, recent filling, or a cracked or chipped tooth.

When addressing your sensitive teeth, the first step is to visit your dentist to identify the cause and rule out any dental issues that require treatment. During your visit, your dental professional can recommend some treatment options, and as you try them, you’ll discover what works best for you.

Changing your toothbrush may help reduce tooth sensitivity

Brushing with desensitizing toothpaste helps block the pain of sensitive teeth after several applications so you can return to eating and drinking cold and hot foods without issue. Along with changing your toothpaste, you might need to change how you brush if you’re brushing too hard. Brushing too hard wears away tooth enamel, which leaves your teeth more exposed and sensitive to temperature changes. Overly-hard brushing can also wear away cementum, which protects the root of your tooth and isn’t as strong as enamel. Make sure you’re using a soft bristle brush and brushing for at least two minutes, but not too hard to damage teeth or gums. Brushing correctly is an important first step before you can proceed with any restorative treatment to reduce sensitivity.

Lessen how sensitive your teeth are to hot and cold with dental barriers

If changing your brushing doesn’t help reduce your tooth sensitivity, ask about painted-on barriers like fluoride varnish or plastic resins to desensitize your teeth. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and reduces sensitivity pain so your dentist might also advise using prescription fluoride a home. Bonding resin helps protect exposed root surfaces and reduces sensitivity.

A gum graft can help treat tooth sensitivity

The root of your tooth has a covering of gum tissue in a healthy mouth, but if you’re suffering from gum recession caused by hard brushing or gum disease, the root becomes exposed. An exposed root means that the cementum designed to protect is wearing away and this leads to sensitivity. To correct this issue, your dentist may perform a gum graft that takes tissue from a different part of your mouth and surgically attaches it to the exposed area. This procedure protects tooth roots and reduces sensitivity.

Sometimes, treating tooth sensitivity requires a root canal

When tooth sensitivity is especially severe, and other treatments haven’t helped, a root canal may be the best solution. Root canals treat and correct problems in the dental pulp or soft core of the tooth. This is a more involved treatment but highly successful at eliminating sensitivity.

Once you’re found ways to treat and minimize your teeth sensitivity successfully, it’s important to continue practicing good oral hygiene, including brushing twice a day, flossing, and using a fluoride toothpaste for the overall health of your mouth. To prevent further sensitivity, avoid brushing too hard, grinding your teeth, and limit your intake of acidic foods. Drinking milk and water helps balance acidity levels. Wait at least 20 minutes before brushing your teeth after consuming acidic substances because they soften tooth enamel, and if you brush too soon, you can be wearing away the protective covering on your teeth.

Contact Creative Dental to learn about the options we offer for treating and reversing your sensitive teeth issues.

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