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Houston Dentist - Dr. Kirk Speck D.D.S.

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Home arrow Dentist Articles arrow The causes of toothache
The causes of toothache

The tooth has a hard enamel coating and as long as this is not damaged in any way you should be free from toothache. However, this is easier said than done. How do we end up with toothache? What is it that damages the hard enamel coating?

When food debris is left on the teeth, especially if it is high in sugar, it forms a white film on the teeth known as plaque which is very sticky and attracts bacteria which then break it down into acids. These acids eat away at your tooth enamel, causing small holes in it known as cavities. The cavity in the enamel exposes the sensitive pulp of the tooth, causing it to hurt, and it is this that is toothache.

Of course it is not just your teeth that you have to take care of, but your gums are important too. If your gums become diseased, you may end up losing perfectly good teeth. Plaque can cause gum disease as well as tooth decay, and signs of gum disease are when your gums become red, swollen and sore. The pain of gum disease can be very similar to toothache.

Toothache can become more pronounced when you are trying to chew, or when the tooth is exposed to cold or to heat. Sensitivity to pressure, or extremes of temperature can indicate that the pulp of the tooth is inflamed.

Toothache is usually caused by dental decay, but can also be caused by a fracture, or crack in the tooth. In order to avoid such cracks being formed it is important not to use your teeth for cutting things, opening bottles, and so on, as the pressure on your teeth from doing this can form such cracks.

Some toothache can occur as a result of dental treatment, with fillings that have been recently put in causing some aching of the tooth. If this is the case you should go back to your Houston dentist who will be able to sort it out.

If the gums have receded a little, due to excessive brushing or due to age, then the exposed root can cause pain and irritation that is similar to toothache. In this case, toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth will most likely give you relief.

Inflammation of the pulp can nowadays be treated with antibiotics, but sometimes root canal treatment is required in order to save the tooth.

In the past there were not many remedies for toothache, and people were less well informed about taking care of their teeth, and so they frequently used to resort to having a tooth pulled out if they had toothache.

If you are troubled by toothache, then the first thing you should do is to make an appointment to see the Houston dentist. If you cannot get to the Houston dentist quickly, then you may need to take a painkiller such as ibuprofen or aspirin to give yourself some pain relief.

By taking good care of your teeth, you can avoid toothache altogether.