Common Causes of Toothaches, Part III

Continuing on with our potential causes of tooth discomfort, we visit “the dreaded cavity,” another reason for potentially painful teeth.



Tooth Decay/Cavities

Minor cavities can go unnoticed for years when limited to the more superficial surface of the tooth, especially in the area between the teeth. Many times a cavity will reach the inside, soft part of the tooth if not found early enough. From there it has a tendency to spread very fast. Some patients will have discomfort because the decay is sitting within the tooth, near channels that communicate with the nerve. This will cause pain in reaction to heat and cold, and sometimes sweets. However, many patients still report no discomfort until the decay actually invades the nerve, or the nerve becomes so infected the decay even irritates the bone around the tooth in connection with the once-vital nerve. This is felt as a constant, throbbing, debilitating pain, even sometimes associated with swelling. Such a substantial cavity requires root canal therapy to remove the infected tissues inside the tooth and help heal the area of compromised bone surrounding the tooth. This more involved treatment can be avoided when cavities are caught early, and pain from the nerve can be avoided if a cavity is treated with a filling before it gets too close to the nerve. Many problems can be addressed when they are small, so prolonging treatment can cause greater damage to your teeth, gums, and bone, and compromise your oral health. Call us at Katy Trail Dental today to be screened for small cavities, so you can have them addressed before they become a bigger, more costly issue!