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There are several things that can make your teeth hurt, but the most basic one is tooth decay. This decay happens when the bacteria in your mouth create acids which over time can deteriorate a tooth. The deeper the decay, the bigger the hole created, or cavities that will need filling. If you don’t take care of an infected tooth, you will have pain leading to infection and eventual tooth loss if ignored.

Your tooth is made up of three main parts:

— Enamel: the outer layer you see when you look in the mirror
— Dentin: the darker, yellowish sensitive part that lies underneath
— Pulp: the middle of the tooth made of nerves and blood vessels

There are things you can do to help prevent tooth decay. Your daily brushing and flossing will make the most difference, as do your biannual dental cleanings. Be wary of eating foods high in sugar and starch (including sugary fruit) and chips which increase the bacteria in your mouth. Fluoride is an easy way to protect your teeth, and is as simple as choosing a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Saliva is important for your teeth as well, as it washes away bacteria. Staying hydrated helps, as is avoiding caffeinated beverages which act as diuretics, like coffee and tea and dark sodas.

You will know that you need treatment for a tooth when you have an infected tooth or a cavity. Symptoms can include a toothache, bad breath, unusual spots on your teeth, and swelling in your gums.

Even though tooth pain can go away temporarily, the tooth decay will continue, making your cavity bigger and eventually causing the tooth to die. Don’t ignore dental pain! It is there for a reason and early prevention is a key to tooth preservation.

Please contact us at Dr. Shur Dental if you have any questions or concerns about your dental health. We are here to help you preserve your healthy smile for a lifetime!