Most of us have, at one point or another, felt the discomfort of a sensitive tooth. While a toothache can have a number of different causes, the pain can often be debilitating regardless of its origin. Even if you could ignore it, however, you never should; for all of its possible causes, a toothache indicates that something is wrong. As a dedicated dentist in Austin, Dr. Van Wicklen has extensive experience easing the aching teeth of his patients. Today, he explains some of the more common causes behind tooth sensitivity.
Common Toothache Sources
- Tooth decay—Your teeth are surrounded and protected by tooth enamel, which happens to be the strongest material that your body produces. Still, enamel is subject to erosion. The underlying tooth structure, called dentin, contains microscopic tubules that lead the pulp in the center of your tooth. When enamel erodes, dentin is exposed to food debris and bacteria. The tubules send sensory information to the nerves housed in the pulp, making the tooth sensitive to irritations like hot, cold, or sweet foods and beverages.
- Gum disease—Your periodontal tissue, or gums, act as a seal and barrier to protect your tooth’s roots. Aside from bleeding and inflammation, gum recession is also common when gum disease sets in. As your periodontal tissue separates from your teeth, the roots become exposed. Since they are not covered by enamel like the top of your teeth are, exposed roots are sensitive to stimulants and can cause severe tooth discomfort.
- Sinus infection—Your sinuses are a system of connected, hollow chambers in your cheek region. The largest of these, called the maxillary sinuses, are close to the roots of your upper teeth. When these sinuses are infected, they swell and increase mucus production, leading to a stuffy and/or runny nose. The inflammation can also place pressure on the roots of your teeth, and your sinus infection could cause a toothache.
Austin Dentist Treats Your Toothache
If one or more of your teeth are causing you trouble, contact your Austin dentist to find and treat the source. You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Van Wicklen by calling 512-448-3131. Located in the 78704 area, we proudly serve the cities of Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Bastrop, Bee Cave, Cedar Park, and all surrounding communities.
Most of us have, at one point or another, felt the discomfort of a sensitive tooth. While a toothache can have a number of different causes, the pain can often be debilitating regardless of its origin