Tooth Nerve Pain
Tooth pain can make your life unbearable. When the discomfort is due to an inflamed or irritated nerve, you won’t get any relief until you see your dentist for treatment. You can prevent nerve pain in your mouth with the recommended bi-annual visits to your team at Dental Associates of Morris County. They know your history and can advise you with the best steps you can take to avoid throbbing tooth pain. They’ll also catch signs of decay or other irregularities before they lead to nerve damage.
Tooth nerve pain can strike with little warning. It’s usually caused by inflammation of the nerve at the center of your tooth. You may suddenly feel a shooting pain when you’re eating sweets or drinking cold or hot beverages. The pain may be most evident when you brush your teeth.
When decay first starts, you may feel minor pain, signaling the beginning of a toothache. As the enamel on your tooth gets eaten away, the damage moves ever closer to the root, where the nerve resides. Regular cleaning and checkups by your family dentist at Dental Associates of Morris County ensure you can avoid that kind of throbbing tooth pain.
Anatomy of a Tooth
The exterior of your teeth is coated with enamel. It’s tough and has no living cells in it. Beneath the enamel is the dentin, a softer substance. If it becomes exposed, your tooth is in danger, because the root isn’t protected any more. That’s when your tooth becomes sensitive to sugary substances and temperature changes.
The very center of a tooth contains the pulp. That’s where the nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue live. When exposed, those nerves can get inflamed and lead to nerve tooth pain and extreme sensitivity.
When Nerve Tooth Pain Develops
Nerve tooth pain usually means the pulp in your tooth has developed an infection. The pulp also may become exposed due to an accident or trauma. It starts any time a break or wear and tear damage the tooth enamel, exposing the soft tissue below. Some of the most common ways that tooth enamel weakens or wears down include:
- Cracked tooth from a trauma, like a sports injury or fall
- Decay that eats away at the outer enamel when you don’t rely on regular professional cleanings
- Brushing too hard, which damages teeth and exposes the roots. Brushing with a hard-bristled brush also damages enamel
- Periodontal or gum disease, which causes inflamed or receding gums, irritating and exposing tooth nerves
- Smoking, an unhealthy habit that causes tooth enamel damage
- Clenching and grinding your teeth when you’re sleeping, which can damage tooth enamel over time
Find Tooth Nerve Pain Relief
When a toothache first starts, you may be able to relieve the discomfort by rinsing with warm water, taking over-the-counter pain relievers and applying cold compresses. But these are temporary techniques. Get in to see your Morris County dentist as soon as you can.
Tooth sensitivity that comes and goes may mean you have a small cavity or the beginnings of gum disease. Once the root pulp is damaged or becomes exposed, however, chances are you need a root canal, which removes the nerve completely. You may need to take antibiotics to treat an infection first. You can tell the root is infected if you also have facial pain and swelling.
The American Dental Association: reports that “The treatment for a toothache may involve a somewhat invasive dental procedure such as a dental filling, root canal, dental bridge, dental crown or worst, a tooth extraction. But treatment today can be comfortable, and in fact, often it helps you avoid a tooth extraction. Additionally, today’s cosmetic dentistry options, like dental veneers and dental implants, offer alternatives to traditional treatments and provide a greater esthetic and functional benefit.”
If You Need a Root Canal Procedure
Your restorative dentist in New Jersey performs a root canal procedure to save your damaged tooth so he doesn’t have to pull it. Your dentist removes the decay, the nerve and any infected material. The empty chamber is cleaned and flushed out.
Medication may be inserted into the opening if it’s left to drain for a few days or a week. You may receive a temporary crown while you wait for the infection to clear and the chamber to fully heal. During your second dental visit, the chamber is filled and a permanent crown put in place.
The entire procedure can be slightly uncomfortable, but not painful. Your Morris County dentist does everything to make sure you’re comfortable before, during and after the procedure. It’s worth it, too, because you won’t have any nerve pain afterward. The nerve is gone and can’t hurt you again.