September 30, 2016
No matter how well you care for your teeth, you may still develop a toothache at some point in your life. When you do, you may think it’s a cavity — but your dentist in Allentown wants you to know that’s not always the case. So what’s causing your aching tooth? Let’s take a closer look at some of the other common culprits of tooth pain.
Enamel Erosion or Gum Recession
If you feel tooth pain while you are eating something cold or hot, you are experiencing tooth sensitivity caused by gum recession or enamel erosion. Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, and it’s caused by gum disease or aggressive brushing. Enamel erosion makes your teeth more sensitive, too. Tooth enamel is lost as a result of exposure to bacteria, highly acidic foods and beverages, excessive soft drink consumption, and more.
Tip: Sensitive teeth? Schedule an appointment with your dentist to determine the cause. In the meantime, brush gently with an anti-sensitivity toothpaste to alleviate discomfort. These formulas contain special ingredients that block the transmission of pain into the tooth’s nerve.
Pain felt when biting down on food may indicate a cavity, but it could also mean that you’ve got a cracked tooth. Teeth can crack, break, or fracture if you chew your fingernails, bite down on ice, or play sports without a protective mouthguard, and a tooth can crack without you realizing it. Schedule an appointment with your dentist and describe your tooth pain to determine whether or not you have tooth damage that requires the use of a dental crown or other restoration.
Tip: Want to prevent tooth damage? Keep your smile whole by breaking habits like nail biting or chewing on pens and pencils. Avoid using your teeth as tools — always find the scissors instead. And if you play sports or grind your teeth at night, protect your smile with a custom-fit mouthguard.
Sometimes your teeth and gums aren’t damaged at all. Pain in the back of the mouth can be caused by the eruption of the third molars, or what we commonly refer to as the wisdom teeth. Few people experience the smooth eruption of the third molars. Impaction and infection occur when there is not enough room in the gum for the wisdom teeth to fully emerge. These teeth usually appear between ages 16 and 24, and most people require wisdom teeth extraction.
Tip: Want to prevent wisdom teeth pain in your child or teen? Have her mouth checked for the presence of these third molars around age 16. Your dentist can check to see if wisdom teeth are beneath the gum line, and whether or not they are likely to cause problems if they emerge. Wisdom tooth removal is far easier in younger patients.
Do you have a mysterious tooth pain that won’t go away? You deserve to live with a healthy, pain-free smile. Request an appointment with Dr. Young or Dr. Enea to get to the root of the problem today!
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