Though some toothaches may not seem too bad, others can be so painful as to make simple things like biting and chewing an excruciating experience. Regardless of its severity, however, a toothache should never be ignored, or mistaken for something that will resolve itself. In many cases, a toothache is a warning sign of a dental health issue, such as tooth decay or gum disease. If not treated, the issue can grow worse, and in extreme cases, it may wind up costing you a tooth.
Your Tooth Could Be in Trouble
A tooth’s nerves are in a chamber, called the pulp, located at the center of the tooth’s main structure, called the dentin. When a tooth hurts, it is often due to irritation to the nerves and tissues, either by severe tooth decay or by damage that has exposed the pulp. Even if you do not remember damaging a tooth, a crack or fracture may have developed in a hard-to-notice spot. In cases of tooth decay (the disease that causes cavities), your tooth may grow slightly sensitive at first, then increase in intensity the longer it is left untreated.
Your Gums Could Be in Trouble
While the pulp can be disturbed when the dentin is compromised, the nerves can also be irritated if the tooth’s roots are exposed. The roots, which extend underneath the gums, are not protected by the outer layer of enamel that covers the tooth’s dentin above the gum line. If you develop gum disease, or if your gums begin to recede (pull away from your teeth), then the exposed roots can send sensory information to the nerves, which are connected to the root canals. Though it is the leading cause of tooth loss, gum disease may not generate a toothache until its later stages, making it perhaps more dangerous than tooth decay.
ABOUT YOUR GARLAND DENTISTS:
At DentaCare Dental in Garland, we focus on advanced technology, education, and comfort to offer every patient a pleasant experience and excellent dental care. To schedule a consultation, call our Garland, TX office today at (903) 686-1308. For optimal convenience, we also serve patients at our various other locations in Tyler, Longview, and Arlington, TX, as well as Bossier City, LA.