Diagnosing Your Toothache

Teeth don’t usually feel much thanks to the highly resilient enamel surrounding them. But, when that enamel is compromised, or if your tooth’s structure is in trouble due to damage or decay, then your teeth will become increasingly more sensitive. While a toothache can mean many different things, the symptom and its cause can usually be treated effectively at your dentist’s office. The first step, though, will be an exam to diagnose your toothache so your dentist knows which treatment is appropriate.

Common Toothache Causes

  • A cracked or broken tooth—One of the more obvious causes of toothaches is damage to the tooth’s structure, such as a crack, fracture, or break. When a tooth is damaged, it’s main structure (dentin) and the nerves at its center (pulp) can be exposed to oral bacteria and other irritations. The only way to alleviate the toothache and save the tooth from further damage is treat it, often with a dental crown.
  • Enamel erosion or cavity—Tooth enamel is the most resilient substance in your body, but it’s also highly vulnerable to the acids that oral bacteria produce. Poor hygiene can allow these acids to eventually erode enamel, exposing the tooth’s main structure to harmful bacteria and leading to cavity development. As the condition worsens, your tooth will become more and more painful, though your dentist can typically treat a cavity with a minimally invasive filling.
  • Gingivitis and gum disease—Gingivitis describes an infection in your gum tissues that is marked by inflammation. Left untreated, it quickly becomes gum disease, causing your gums to recede from the roots of your teeth. Because teeth roots aren’t covered by enamel, their exposure can make your teeth automatically sensitive. If gum disease isn’t treated, you may lose one or more teeth as it erodes your gums and jawbone structure.

Treat Your Toothache for Good

If you have a toothache, then the best way to treat it for good is to schedule an examination with your dentist. To make an appointment, call Dr. Steven Huffstutler in Ft. Worth, TX, today at 817-577-1444.