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Why do we experience tooth pain?

Cavity– cavities (holes) are formed when bacteria feeds on food particles left on the teeth. This results in the bacteria producing acid which erodes the hard enamel to reach the sensitive dentine below this layer. Brushing twice a day and cleaning in between the teeth can greatly minimise the risk of cavities forming.
cavity
Cracked tooth– our teeth are under pressure every single day due to eating and habits such as grinding and clenching. Over time, hairline fractures may develop in the enamel which may progress into cracks and chips which can cause sensitivity and sometimes nerve exposure.

Receding gums– gum recession is something most people face as they get older. There are factors however that can speed up the process such as over-brushing, particularly with a hard toothbrush, and gum disease. This can lead to sensitivity that can range from mild to severe as the dentine, which is extremely sensitive and normally covered by gum tissue, is exposed.

Enamel erosion– erosion can occur for many reasons including a high-sugar diet with lots of fizzy drinks, vomiting and acid reflux. The acid erodes the tooth enamel which can cause sensitivity and weakness in the teeth.

Bruxism– otherwise known as grinding, this condition puts extreme pressure on teeth causing them to wear down. It can also increase sensitivity and lead to headaches and soreness in the jaws.

Gum disease– when plaque is left to mature around the gum line, it causes inflammation and bleeding in the gums. Gum disease in its early stages is reversible however if left to progress, it can develop into periodontal disease, which destroys gum tissue and the bone which holds teeth in place, leading to wobbly teeth.

Old or loose fillings– fillings are placed in areas of the tooth that have been affected by tooth decay. Over time, fillings become worn and chipped and eventually require replacement in order to keep the tooth healthy and strong. Some fillings can “leak” meaning small crevices and cracks can develop, allowing bacteria to creep in and cause decay around the filling.

Post-treatment sensitivity– If you have had dental treatment recently, you may experience temporary sensitivity caused by pulp inflammation. With some treatments, especially if there was a deep cavity, it is quite normal to experience mild sensitivity afterwards.

Referred pain– sometimes, illness can cause tooth or gum pain and we mistake it for an oral problem. For example, a sinus infection (sinusitis) or inflammation can cause toothache in the upper molars, which are close to the sinuses. It is very common for this to happen and the pain can vary from mild to severe. Always check with your Dentist if you have any concerns.

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