Nerves exist throughout your body and serve a valuable purpose. They conduct electrical impulses, allowing them to move from one area of the body to another. This includes sending signals to and from the brain to help it control every part of your body.
A tooth nerve is situated in the centre of each tooth. It exists in a small space along with the blood vessels surrounded by dentin and then enamel. It’s interesting to note that the nerve helps you to feel hot and cold sensations on your teeth. But, if the nerve is damaged, it won’t affect your tooth’s ability to function.
However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about it. If the nerve becomes exposed it will initially become extra sensitive, meaning you’ll have much less tolerance for hot and cold food and drinks. But, it will also be subject to bacterial infection.
This will cause an infection in the centre of your tooth, it’s painful and, if left untreated, it can cause a more serious infection in your body.
That’s why, if you have any type of tooth pain you should see a reputable dentist in St Leonards as soon as possible.
The Common Causes of Exposed Tooth Nerves
Exposed nerves happen when the enamel on your teeth is worn away, allowing plaque, bacteria, and acid to enter your tooth. They will quickly reach the nerve and irritate it. The loss of enamel is a common side-effect of poor oral hygiene. But, it can also happen if you brush your teeth too hard, or, as the result of a trauma that’s damaged your tooth.
Regularly grinding your teeth can also wear down the tough enamel layer and cause you to have problems with exposed tooth nerves.
Another major cause of exposed tooth nerves is when the gum disappears. This can be due to excessive brushing, gum disease, or simply because your gums are receding. The roots and nerves will be exposed and more vulnerable to pain.
Teeth out of alignment can also be an issue as this allows plaque and bacteria to build up, weakening the enamel and the gum.
Treating Exposed Teeth Nerves
The exact treatment from your dentist will depend on what is causing the exposed tooth nerves.
If it’s caused by receding or infected gums then the dentist will need to treat the infection and, if necessary, use a gum graft. It’s also possible to make a tiny incision into the gum and clean the infected area before covering the exposed nerve with a flap of gum.
If the exposed nerve is due to tooth damage then your dentist may add a filling to your tooth. If necessary, they can even fit a crown to protect the nerve and the tooth from further sensitivity and damage.
It should be noted that, if the tooth nerve area becomes infected your dentist will need to perform root canal surgery to fix it. Fortunately, this isn’t as big an issue as it used to be and is surprisingly painless.