Generally we want to rid the mouth and the tooth of any decay. However, sometimes when doing a filling or a restoration we may elect to leave a very small amount of the cavity, or decay, on that tooth.
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.
As we mentioned, a toothache should never be a normal occurrence. If you are experiencing pain, this is your body telling you that your mouth needs attention. Toothaches can develop for many reasons, and the only way to determine the true cause of the discomfort is by visiting your dentist. One very common reason discussed earlier is because a crack has developed in the tooth. Another reason for tooth pain can be bruxism.
Bruxism is a condition where a patient is grinding and/or clenching their teeth. Many people will report this at times of high stress, some during periods of cold weather, and many people clench their teeth without knowing it! It is most commonly done in your sleep. If you think you might suffer from bruxism, it may be the reason why you also have toothaches and headaches or flat-out jaw pain, too!
Now with tooth pain related to grinding, the continued wearing away of the teeth not only leaves your teeth vulnerable to hot and cold but makes your teeth very hypersensitive. In addition, with continued bruxism the ligaments around the teeth have a tendency to swell, causing very sensitive teeth. Many people report pain after teeth whitening, and ironically it is not directly a result of the whitening process but a result of the bruxism and wear on their teeth making them extra-sensitive and as a result extra-susceptible to tooth pain. At Katy Trail Dental, we are passionate about preserving your enamel for a lifetime and making sure your teeth are pain-free. See your dentist to make sure you do not show signs or symptoms of teeth grinding.