Finding the source of a Toothache
At the initial onset of a toothache, it’s important to find the cause so you can adequately address and eliminate the tooth pain. The pain could stem from the food you ate, an injury, an impacted wisdom tooth infection or a plethora of other causes. A visit to Dr. Icard or Dr. Strein, family dentist in Harrisburg, NC, can help you determine the cause of your tooth pain.
Why do my teeth hurt?
To understand the source of a toothache you should first understand the composition of a tooth. There are three layers. First, there is the enamel, the outer layer. Second is the dentin layer. The pulp and the root chamber makeup innermost layer.
Pain comes from a bacterial assault on the pulp or dentin layer. These are the two layers of the tooth that is close enough to nerve endings to cause pain and sensitivity. Pain will continue until the nerve dies.
The enamel layer has no nerve supply. Although the enamel may be where the bacterial assault started, it is not the source of the pain.
Dentin is a living part of the tooth that communicates with the tooth’s nerve. This inner core is brittle yet strong. To give perspective to its strength, dentin is stronger than bone yet weaker than enamel. The purpose of dentin is to support the enamel by making it stronger. It also provides protection for the dental pulp and absorbs some of the sensitivity and pain caused to teeth before it can reach this innermost layer.
The pulp, the area where the worst pain stems from, has a blood and nerve supply. The pulp contains unmineralized living tissue and cells. It is considered to be the most important part of the tooth. The pulp sounds an alarm for pain and also nourishes the tooth. When the nerve in the pulp becomes infected, toothaches are the result. Root canal therapy is a procedure dentists use to repair damage to this layer.
How do you know if the pupal layer needs treatment?
A visible sign of pupal layer problems is the development of an abscess tooth, which is pimple-like in appearance. This pus-filled pocket forms first internally around the root of the infected tooth. If left untreated, the abscess tooth will develop a reddish appearance on the gums. An abscess can develop in the oral cavity of anyone, including children. If you have an abscess tooth, it must be treated by a dentist.
Our Dentist in Harrisburg NC Can Help
Contact our dental team if you have any questions or concerns regarding tooth pain. During your visit, an examination will be administered to help determine the best care plan and cost. Give us a call at 704.455.5003