Have you ever had a toothache? Considering the number of different issues that can lead to tooth sensitivity, there’s a good chance that you have. In fact, over 25% of adults in America say that they’ve had to take time off work to deal with a toothache. The first step to treating your sensitive tooth is to understand the cause behind it. To help relieve your discomfort, Des Moines dentist Dr. Stephen Burds explains two common reasons for your tooth to hurt.
Why is Your Tooth Hurting?
Your tooth is comprised of layers. The outer layer, called the tooth enamel, is the strongest substance that your body produces. Unfortunately, however, it is also subject to erosion in the face of acid produced by oral bacteria. Directly underneath your enamel lies the main portion of your tooth, called dentin. Softer than your tooth enamel, dentin contains small tubules that feed sensory information to your tooth’s pulp, which is at the center of your tooth and contains its nerves and blood vessels. When enamel weakens, bacteria, food debris, and other irritants (like hot and cold temperatures) can irritate your tooth’s sensitive inner tissues and lead to tooth decay.
While enamel protects the top, visible part of your tooth, or crown, it does not extend below your gum line to protect your tooth roots. The beginning stage of gum disease involves your gum tissue separating from your teeth and becoming inflamed. When this seal is compromised, your teeth’s roots become exposed and vulnerable to external irritants. Gum disease not only makes your teeth sensitive, it is also the number one cause of adult tooth loss in America becuase it effects the foundation of your teeth.
Excellent Tooth Health in Des Moines
If your teeth are giving you trouble, time may be of the essence in diagnosing and treating the issue behind it. Dental health issues are progressive, and chronic tooth sensitivity will not cure itself. To learn more about treating your sensitive teeth, or to improve the health and look of your smile, schedule a consultation with your Des Moines family dentist by calling Gateway Dental Group at (515) 244-9565. We welcome patients from River Bend, Kirkwood Glen, East Village, and neighboring communities.