Unfortunately, most of us are familiar with the immediate jolt of pain that is experienced when you have tooth nerve pain. The pain may only last a short time, but many of our patients report trying to avoid aggravating the nerve in any way because of how uncomfortable the sensation can be. Your Krengel Dental team is here to give you the 411 on what causes nerve pain and what to do about it.
What’s the cause?:
Nerve pain is experienced when a part of the tooth has worn away, causing the nerve to either be exposed or easily aggravated. Enamel, one of the substances that composes our teeth, is actually one of the most highly mineralized substances in our entire body. It is the outer layer of each tooth and its purpose is to protect the other layers of each tooth from decaying. Underneath the enamel are the layers of dentin, cementum and pulp, and the pulp is where the nerves are. When enamel and dentin have worn away, our teeth become more sensitive to the foods and drinks that reach the nerves.
Many of the foods and drinks that our teeth are sensitive to are the same substances that cause damage to the outer layers of enamel and dentin. Sugary, acidic, sour, hot and cold are the foods and drinks we most often hear are causing tooth sensitivity and erosion to patients’ teeth. Hard foods can also cause a tooth to crack or chip, making the nerve more vulnerable to pain.
What can I do?
The best way to protect yourself from nerve pain is to protect the structure of your teeth. This means, protecting the enamel by avoiding or moderating sugary, acidic or pain-inducing foods that your teeth are more sensitive too. Unfortunately, there are many healthy foods that wear out your enamel. For example, acidic fruits like oranges and grapefruit weaken the protective enamel as well. So, is your Krengel Dental Dentist telling you to never have coffee, fruits you enjoy or ice cream? We could never! What we do suggest is being mindful of what foods and drinks can be damaging to your teeth and stepping up your dental care to repair the damage where you can.
Tooth nerve can be avoided and treated with improved dental hygiene. Brushing twice a day and after eating highly acidic or sugary foods, flossing every day and making sure to visit us for regular check ins will not only keep your smile healthier and happier, it will strengthen your smile and make you less vulnerable to that icky, undesirable nerve pain.
You can take the first step towards that strong smile by calling us (952-888-1311) and scheduling a check up! We promise the pain-free call will get you on track towards improved dental health.