Toothache, Sensitivity / Jhanjhanahat
Why is my tooth sensitive or why I am having a toothache?
To understand why our tooth becomes sensitive or why we have tooth pain we have to understand the anatomy of the tooth.
Our human tooth comprises three main layers the outermost is the strongest & our protective layer called enamel. This is followed by dentin which comprises pipe-like structures which on exposure cause pain no matter what it is exposed to be it cold, sweet, sour etc. The last layer is the pulp, which is the only vital layer of our tooth, this layer not only provides nourishment but also keeps our tooth alive.
Coming back to our question…. your tooth will cause you discomfort & pain when the uppermost layer of the enamel gets removed exposing the underlying structures either dentin or pulp. The enamel removal or improper formation can be due to various reasons such as decay, trauma, improper brushing, malnourished diet or even genetics etc. The treatment varies depending on the cause. Below we have listed a few of the most routinely done treatments: -
- Application of Desensitizing agents – This treatment incorporates the application of a desensitizing agent on the exposed dentin blocking the tubules (pipe-like structures).
- Fillings / Restorations – When the exposure is involved or limited to dentin, we can rebuild it using biocompatible materials. The most used are composite & GIC cement. Earlier silver fillings were used but are not being used now due to their side effects.
- Root Canal Treatment – If the pulp has been involved, we recommend the patients undergo root canal treatment or more famously called RCT. In this process, we enter the pulpal space & remove the infected & dead tissues using special instruments. After the space has been disinfected it is filled with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha, a biocompatible material.
- Dental Crowns - A crown or cap is a dental restoration that covers the exposed surface of a tooth to strengthen it or improve its appearance.
- Laser Dentistry – A simple method wherein we use a laser to seal the exposed tubules (pipes) & eliminate tooth sensitivity.
- Tooth removal (Extractions) – Sometimes fractures can cause sensitivity & pain and, in such cases, heroic attempts to save the tooth can be taken otherwise painless tooth removal followed by prosthetic rehabilitation is advised.