The Road to Dental Pain Runs Through Sensitivity
- Posted on: Oct 15 2017
We rarely think of life situations occurring and instantaneously turning serious. However, when it comes to pain anywhere in the body, from immobilizing back pain to that distracting toothache, there is often the expression that pain has come on “out of the blue.” This is almost never the case. When the issue at hand is the pain in the mouth, sensitivity is almost always the starting point. Sensitivity when you eat or drink something warm or cold is saying “something’s wrong.” Here, we want to show the process of dental pain linearly.
Tooth Damage: From Beginning to End
- The onset of tooth decay begins when a tooth loses too many minerals in a given area. Demineralization occurs bit by bit when the mouth becomes too acidic. Regarding a cavity, this acidity localizes to a single area of the tooth. With less mineral-content, enamel softens and wears away. This means less overlay for responsive nerves, which means sensitivity. Now is when you want to see the dentist. Early care may mean dental sealants, topical fluoride, or possibly a small filling.
- A cavity. When demineralization continues in the localized area where bacteria reside, a divot will develop. Eventually, this small indent will become a hole. The decrease in enamel in the area of decay means even less buff between nerves and external stimuli. Dental treatment for a small cavity involves removal of damaged enamel and filling the indentation.
- Dentin decay. The dentin that lies beneath the outer shell of enamel is a much softer form of matter. Acidity can move quickly once it reaches this layer, meaning more extensive damage in a shorter period, which means more pain. If decayed dentin does not require a full root canal, treatment may involve removal of decay and coverage with a dental crown.
- When damage from oral acidity reaches the innermost chamber of the tooth, inflammation is the first problem. Like dentin, pulp tissue is also very soft. It is also very reactive due to the involvement of nerves in this area. Pulpitis may transition into infection without much warning, and this will most likely require root canal therapy and a dental crown to restore comfort and functionality.
Dr. Highsmith is a renowned cosmetic dentist who also provides friendly general dentistry services to patients from the Clyde area. Contact us to schedule your visit.