When you develop a toothache, the discomfort itself can be hard to ignore. However, not everyone immediately considers what might be causing their toothache, or why it comes back after they’ve found a way to temporarily relieve it. The truth is that a chronic toothache can indicate one or more of several potential concerns with your tooth or oral health. The only way to find lasting relief from one is to determine what the cause of it is and have your dentist address it with an appropriate, personalized treatment plan.
Its structure has become infected
Tooth decay is the most frequently occurring chronic oral health concern. When a tooth first starts to decay, it’s the result of harmful substances produced by oral bacteria that erode the enamel around your healthy tooth structure. This exposes the tooth’s main structure to oral bacteria and the potential for infection. When decay starts to erode the tooth’s structure, it can cause your tooth to become painful. The toothache will not only come back, but also grow worse as the tooth decay progresses.
The tooth’s crown cracked or broken
The crown of your tooth is the main part of its structure and rests above your gum line. It’s the part of your tooth that’s responsible for filling out your smile, biting and chewing your food, and much more. When a tooth’s crown becomes cracked or a piece breaks off of it, the discomfort may be minor or severe, depending on serious the damage is. However, even if the damage and aching are minor, the pain in your tooth won’t go away until the tooth is restored. The damage to the tooth’s crown structure may also grow worse as it’s exposed to more of your bite pressure, which can lead to more intense discomfort in and around the tooth.
The root is exposed or damaged
While the crown of a tooth rests above your gum line, the root of the tooth resides within your dental ridge and is housed within its own personal socket. A tooth’s root provides much of the stability that the tooth needs as its crown absorbs the pressure from your bite. It also helps promote a strong and healthy dental ridge by stimulating the bone structure around it. However, if the tooth’s root becomes exposed by receding or diseased gums, it can make the root and your tooth increasingly more sensitive. The same may be true if the tooth root is cracked or broken, which may require that the tooth and its root be extracted and replaced in order to alleviate the discomfort.
Learn why your tooth aches
If your tooth develops a chronic ache, then dealing with the problem that’s causing it may be the only way to find lasting relief from the pain. To learn more, schedule a consultation with us by calling the office of Dr. Stuart Dexter in Prairie Village, KS, today at 913-362-8200.