Are you having trouble eating certain foods? Is chewing causing you pain and discomfort?
Tooth sensitivity makes it difficult for you to eat and drink hot or cold foods. The cause of this sensitivity? It might be an exposed tooth nerve.
If you’re experiencing pain and discomfort, particularly when eating or drinking, you might want to book an appointment with our emergency dentist in Armadale right away. Crippling tooth and gum pain is often a sign of a tooth emergency.
7 causes of exposed tooth nerves
‘Cementum’ is the name of the connective tissue that covers the roots of your teeth as well as your pulp and dentine.
The cementum acts as a protection of your tooth roots from plaque, bacteria and acids.
When this protection is damaged, your tooth loses its protection, and the nerve may become exposed. This can lead to tooth sensitivity, particularly when consuming hot and cold food and drink (such as tea or ice cream).
Your cementum can wear out over time, making your teeth more sensitive.
There are many reasons why your cementum may become damaged over time, leaving your tooth nerve exposed. Some of the most common examples include…
1. Tooth grinding
Teeth grinding is a habit that can lead to gum recession.
The habit of tooth grinding puts pressure on your teeth and gums, weakening them and causing severe damage to the outer layer parts of your tooth, which can lead to nerve exposure. Grinding on a tooth can lead to cementum literally chipping or resorbing away.
Teeth grinding is a common habit; book an appointment with your Armadale dental clinic to find out how you can manage this potentially damaging condition. We can prescribe a range of treatments depending on the severity of the habit, including mouth guards and splits.
2. Misaligned teeth
Overcrowded and misaligned teeth can often lead to increased pressure in the mouth. Moving and rotating teeth can cause the root of the tooth to become exposed.
3. Smoking and tobacco use
Smoking is a nasty habit that leads to a whole host of health issues, one of which is gum disease. Smoking impacts your gums and can damage the bone structure that supports your teeth.
This can lead to exposed root surfaces as well as gum disease and even loose teeth that need to be removed.
4. Tooth trauma
Tooth trauma and other mouth injuries can cause severe damage to the teeth, including cracks or deep fractures that extend to the root.
If you’ve suffered tooth trauma, call a broken tooth emergency dentist for immediate support. When you call Dental Care Group before midday on a business day, we guarantee to see you that very same day!
5. Tooth decay
Severe or prolonged tooth delay damages the protective layer of your teeth, which can expose the roots and cause increased pain and sensitivity.
It can also weaken enamel, weakening the teeth and making them more susceptible to chips and cracks. In such cases, call our emergency dentist for chipped teeth so we can offer immediate support, advice, and treatments.
6. Receding gums
Receding gums is one of the most common causes of exposed nerves that lead to gum sensitivity. When your tooth nerves are exposed, they are subject to infection which can lead to severe gum disease.
7. Harsh brushing and flossing
Aggressive brushing and flossing puts far too much pressure on your teeth.
Harsh brushing can damage tooth enamel, cause inflamed gums, and lead to nerve exposure.
Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and make a conscious effort to gently polish the teeth every day, rather than aggressively brush.
Alternatively, look at switching your toothbrush for an electric version. This can help you change your habits by reducing pressure, as you learn to let the brush do most of the work.
What are the symptoms of an exposed nerve?
An exposed tooth nerve will often leave you in pain, creating discomfort particularly when you eat or drink something that triggers or exacerbates tooth sensitivity. This is one of the most common and obvious signs of sensitivity.
Other tell-tale signs and symptoms of an exposed nerve may include:
- Deep and sharp shooting pain
- Red, inflamed, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Change of tooth appearance / discolouration
- Longer looking teeth may indicate your gum line is receding
What can you do for an exposed tooth nerve?
Tooth pain is a clear indication that something is wrong. To minimise the risks and chances of an exposed tooth nerve, it is best to see an Armadale dentist at the earliest signs of sensitivity, discomfort, or pain, or changes to tooth and gum appearance.
In the meantime, you should use a toothpaste specially designed for sensitive teeth. Pain relievers may also offer temporary relief.
What will a dentist do for an exposed nerve?
Our family dentist in Armadale may require an x-ray to determine the correct diagnosis. Let your dentist know any symptoms you are experiencing, too.
We may then:
- Clean the affected part and apply dentin sealers to protect the exposed nerve
- Place a tooth colored filling which protects and covers the sensitive part
- Apply fluoride protection to decrease any sign of gum sensitivity
- Advise treatment such as root canal or gum graft surgery
Don’t suffer from tooth sensitivity – book a visit with your Armadale dentist today!
Pain and discomfort is a serious and obvious sign that something is wrong with your teeth.
Don’t ignore the signs; book a visit with our Armadale dentistry team!
Our team can assess your tooth pain and advise you on the next steps, including the dental treatment best suited to solve your oral health problems.