What Causes Tooth Pain?

The realm of modern medicine is concentrating more and more not on extravagant ways to cure problems, but on steps to take to prevent them from ever happening in the first place. Dentistry is one such realm, and it is extremely easy to think up of ways in which emergency treatments become obsolete. The most common cause of emergency dentistry, indeed the main spine behind which the entire branch lies is pain. When you tooth hurts you simply cannot put off going to the dentist anymore, and so you book an emergency appointment to deal with it as soon as possible. To make such appointments obsolete, we need to see why teeth hurt.


The tooth is usually thought of as a single entity, indivisible and comprising a smallest unit. This is far from the case, and the teeth, like everything else in the body, is made up of smaller units and structures. The teeth have several layers of hard fluoride based substances in them, and then are filled with a material called the tooth pulp and this is covered in dentine. Above the dentine is the cementum, and the cementum is covered with tooth enamel. When the dentine gets too exposed, the teeth start to hurt. They can get exposed through the enamel and the cementum wearing thin. This can happen for several reasons. Usually, the acid from bacterial excretions will have dissolved the enamel, and this will cause the exposition of the dentine. But dentine can become exposed just form the outer layers growing thin with time and with wear and tear, and traumas can also expose the dentine. If the dentine is exposed, the nerve is also more easily affected, and thus, pain will come.


Certain things can trigger pain in a tooth that is otherwise healthy, but has lost a lot of dentine. Pressure in general and osmotic pressure in particular is one of those things that can make the teeth hurt. Pressure from biting and chewing can make the teeth hurt because the nerve is being pushed on and there is no alleviating substance (tooth enamel) to mitigate the pressure. Osmotic pressure can also make teeth hurt and this is rather curious. Sugary drinks, for example, change the consistency of saliva, and the thicker saliva will push down on the teeth harder, and apply more osmotic pressure. When this happens, your teeth may start to throb or hurt if there is insufficient enamel to protect them, and you will be most perplexed.


Sudden changes in temperature, cold or hot drinks and food can also trigger pain, and for the same reasons. The nerve now directly feels what is happening in the mouth, instead of through a protective buffer layer. 

The only way to prevent these sort of problems from occurring is to be in touch with your dentist, and to see him every six months. He can see if teeth are being demineralized or if teeth are losing enamel, and can provide pastes, ointments, foams and gels with high fluoride content to heal your problems.

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