The Most Common Type of Tooth Pain
A common misconception is that
Types of tooth pain
Dental pain isn’t always felt in the same way either. It may manifest as:
- a sharp, acute pain
- a dull, chronic ache
- a pain that starts and stops suddenly
- a constant pain
- a pain that gets worse at night
- a pain that gets worse when you eat or drink something
- a pain that appears to come from inside your ear, your sinuses, your jaw or neck
Wherever and however the hurt is felt, the single most common type of tooth pain is root pain.
To understand root pain, it is necessary to understand the anatomy of the tooth.
The anatomy of teeth
Each natural tooth in your mouth is made up of three layers. The outermost layer is made from enamel and whilst it is extremely strong, if it not cared for properly with regular brushing and flossing, it can begin to break down.
When this happens, it exposes the middle layer of the tooth, known as the dentin. This layer is much
The very center of the tooth is called the pulp. The pulp is packed full of nerve endings, meaning that if decay or infection reaches this part of the tooth, you will experience pain.
However, the root canal system in each tooth extends from the very top of each tooth (known as the crown), passing through the layers and right down into the jawbone where it anchors your tooth in place. Some teeth have just one root, others can have two or three.
Root decay occurs when cavities begin to form on the roots within your teeth. Often this happens as a result of exposed root surfaces, which are a common side effect of gum disease and brushing too hard or with the wrong technique. Therefore, a large cavity in the crown of your tooth could expose a part of the root where further decay can set in.
Once decay takes hold of a root, it spreads much faster than in any other part of the tooth. This is because there is no hardened enamel to protect it. Instead, the bacteria quickly multiply and reach the innermost layer of the tooth which houses all the of the nerves. When the bacteria meet these nerves, it causes root pain to begin.
There can be a variety of reasons as to why you are experiencing
- natural gum recession with age is more likely to expose the root of the tooth
- lack of saliva. Saliva is our natural
- older adults are more likely to experience problems that will stop them from brushing their teeth effectively such as difficulties with fine motor skills and coordination as a result of arthritis of the hands, and memory problems.
Treating root pain
Root pain is usually treated using a procedure known as root canal surgery. This involves cleaning out the bacteria from the roots of the tooth, and sealing them so that the problem cannot reoccur. Although root canal has a reputation for being an extremely painful and distressing procedure, improvements in the technique and technology used mean that it is now no more complex or painful than a regular cavity filling. If
If you are regularly experiencing toothache, Dr. Wright and the team here at Eagle Gate Dental will be delighted to help alleviate your pain and suffering. We are committed to improving the health and happiness of our patients and welcome any opportunity to discuss your dental concerns. Please make an appointment and contact our Salt Lake City offices today.