Posts for tag: Tooth Pain
Nothing grabs your attention like a sharp tooth pain, seemingly hitting you out of nowhere while you’re eating or drinking. But there is a reason for your sudden agony and the sooner you find it out, the better the outcome for your oral health.
To understand tooth sensitivity, we need to first look at the three layers of tooth anatomy. In the center is the pulp filled with blood vessels and nerve bundles: it’s completely covered by the next layer dentin, a soft tissue filled with microscopic tubules that transmit sensations like pressure or temperature to the pulp nerves.
The third layer is enamel, which completely covers the crown, the visible part of a tooth. Enamel protects the two innermost tooth layers from disease and also helps muffle sensations so the tooth’s nerves aren’t overwhelmed. The enamel stops at about the gum line; below it the gums provide similar protection and sensation shielding to the dentin of the tooth roots.
Problems occur, though, when the dentin below the gums becomes exposed, most commonly because of periodontal (gum) disease. This bacterial infection caused by dental plaque triggers inflammation, which over time can weaken gum tissues and cause them to detach and shrink back (or recede) from the teeth. This can leave the root area vulnerable to disease and the full brunt of environmental sensations that then travel to the nerves in the pulp.
Tooth decay can also create conditions that cause sensitivity. Decay begins when certain oral bacteria multiply and produce higher than normal levels of acid. The acid in turn dissolves the enamel’s mineral content to create holes (cavities) that expose the dentin. Not treated, the infection can eventually invade the pulp, putting the tooth in danger of being lost unless a root canal treatment is performed to remove the infection and seal the tooth from further infection.
So, if you begin experiencing a jolt of pain while eating or drinking hot or cold foods or beverages, see your dentist as soon as possible to diagnose and treat the underlying cause. And protect your teeth from dental disease by practicing daily brushing and flossing, as well as seeing your dentist for regular dental cleanings and checkups. Don’t ignore those sharp pains—your teeth may be trying to tell you something.
If you would like more information on tooth sensitivity, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Treatment of Tooth Sensitivity.”
If you have ever had a toothache, you will know just how uncomfortable this unfortunate situation is. Though many people mistakenly believe that their painful tooth requires extraction, a root canal can save the structure of the tooth and avoid creating a gap in your smile. Find out more about root canals, what they involve, and how they can save your smile with Dr. Nicholas Papapetros, Dr. Leo Kharin, and Dr. Jessica Ristuccia at Great Meadows Dental Group in Bedford, MA.
What is a root canal?
Root canal therapy is a dental procedure which removes decayed tissues and nerves from within the tooth’s inner pulp chamber, cleans the tooth from any infected tissues left behind, then refills the tooth to restore its natural structure. This preserves the outside of the tooth while curing a toothache.
Do I need a root canal?
Some of the most common signs of advanced tooth decay include:
- a toothache
- sensitivity to hot and cold
- pain while chewing or eating
- unexplained bad breath
- unexplained foul taste in the mouth
- a visible spot or hole on the tooth
What can I expect from a root canal treatment?
Root canals last about an hour and occur right in your dentist’s office. The procedure requires a local anesthetic which numbs the mouth prior to the procedure. With the mouth numbed, your dentist will create a small hole on the crown of the tooth through which they will remove the inner contents of the tooth, including blood vessels, tissues, and nerves. With the nerves severed, the tooth can no longer feel pain, meaning this process cures a toothache. After the tooth is clean and free from decay, your dentist fills it in with a composite resin material and, in most cases, places a crown over the tooth to ensure it is thoroughly protected from daily use.
Root Canal Therapy in Bedford, MA
For more information on root canal therapy or how it can benefit you, please contact Dr. Nicholas Papapetros, Dr. Leo Kharin, and Dr. Jessica Ristuccia at Great Meadows Dental Group in Bedford, MA. Call (781) 275-7707 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!