Do you experience pain in your teeth or jaw? This is most likely due to the nerves in your teeth. Nerves are an important part of the teeth, and when they become damaged or irritated, it can lead to pain. In this article, we will discuss what teeth nerves are, what can cause nerve damage, and how to get relief from nerve pain. We will also provide tips for keeping your teeth healthy and free from nerve pain!
An Introduction to the Nerves of the Teeth
The nerves of your tooth are located in the pulp, the innermost layer of your teeth. The pulp is made up of connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. It extends from the crown (top) of your tooth to the root (bottom) of your tooth. The root is anchored in your jawbone and is not visible.
The nerves in your teeth are primary sensory neurons that send information about stimuli (such as pressure, temperature, and pain) to your brain. The pulp has over 900 axons in the average premolar (bicuspid), which means that there are a lot of nerves in a small space. This makes your teeth very sensitive to stimuli in the pulp and dentin area of your tooth.
The nerves in your teeth can be damaged by injury, infection, or inflammation. When the nerves are damaged, they can become irritated and send pain signals to your brain. This can result in tooth sensitivity, toothache pain, or even migraines. It is believed that we have sensations in our teeth so that when your teeth are injured, you will experience pain and can take action to not eat on that side while the body heals them.
What Does Tooth Sensitivity Say About My Teeth?
Tooth sensitivity is the result of exposed dentin or pulp on your teeth. In extreme cases, it can cause pain in your jaw and teeth. The following are some causes of tooth sensitivity:
Your Teeth Naturally Have Less Enamel
Some teeth are just more sensitive than others. This is because they have less enamel, which is the hard outer layer that protects your teeth. This is completely normal in many cases and is nothing to worry about.
Traumatic Injury To Teeth
Trauma to the teeth and jawbone, a typical occurrence in many sports, can damage the nerves. If it causes the tooth’s nerves to become exposed or fracture the root of your tooth there can be significant amounts of pain. Even a simple fall or direct hit to the teeth can cause the nerves to become damaged. If this is the case, it is best to see a dentist right away so that they can diagnose and treat you accordingly.
Failing Fillings or Crowns
Another common cause of tooth sensitivity is a failed tooth filling or crown. If the filling or crown becomes loose, it can expose the dentin and pulp of your teeth to hot and cold temperatures, which can cause pain. This typically does not happen often, but it is possible after years of using a filling or crown. If this is the case a dentist will be able to easily replace the filling or crown.
Cavity (Dental Caries)
Cavities are one of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity. A cavity is a hole in your tooth that is caused by decay. This occurs when bacteria eat away at the tooth, causing the dentin or pulp to become exposed. This can lead to pain when you eat or drink hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks. A dentist will be able to treat a cavity with a filling.
An infection in your teeth or gums can damage the nerves, causing pain. Bacteria can enter the pulp of your teeth through tiny openings in the enamel (the hard outer layer of your teeth) and infect the nerve tissue. The infection can also spread to the root of your teeth, causing an abscess (a pus-filled pocket). Infections are typically treated with a root canal (a procedure in which the dentist removes the infected tissue and nerve from your tooth) or extraction (removal of the tooth).
What Can You Do to Prevent Teeth Nerve Sensitivity?
In an ideal scenario, patients are able to take action to prevent teeth nerve sensitivity before it starts. Dentists should always be educating patients on how to take care of their teeth. Below are some things you can do to help protect your teeth and keep them healthy:
Changing Your Diet
Certain foods and drinks can wear away your enamel. This includes sugary and acidic foods and drinks which can eat away at your enamel over time. This can lead to teeth that are more sensitive and more likely to experience pain. Therefore, it is best to limit your intake of sugary and acidic foods and drinks.
Brushing and Flossing
It is important to brush and floss your teeth regularly. This will remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth, which can lead to cavities and infection. Brushing should be done at least twice a day and flossing should be done at least once a day (but a recommended twice a day). Make sure to brush near the gum line and the back of your teeth, as these are commonly missed spots. Floss hugging each tooth in a “C” shape and using a gentle back-and-forth motion to go below the gum line.
Fluoride is a mineral that can help strengthen your teeth, prevent cavities, and even reverse cavities. It is found in many kinds of toothpaste and mouthwash. You can also get fluoride treatments from your dentist.
Wearing a Mouth Guard
If you play sports, it is important to wear a mouth guard. This will protect your teeth from injury. It may not look cool, but it can save you a lot of pain in the long run.
Wearing a Night Guard if You Grind Your Teeth
If you grind your teeth at night, it is important to wear a night guard. Grinding at night can wear down your enamel, damage your teeth, and lead to pain. A night guard will protect your teeth from grinding and can help prevent this.
Seeing Your Dentist Regularly
It is important to see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. This will allow them to detect any problems with your teeth early on and prevent them from becoming worse. They will also be able to give you fluoride treatments, seal your teeth, and help you with your at-home oral care routine.
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No two mouths are the same, and each oral situation is unique. As such, it isn’t possible to give comprehensive advice or diagnose oral conditions based on articles alone. The best way to ensure you’re getting the best dental care possible is to visit a dentist in person for an examination and consultation.