Some Nerve: Understanding Dental Nerve Issues

18 February 2020
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


When your mouth aches, the pain may be coming from a number of sources, and only your dentist will know for sure. In the meantime, you might want to consider how often the discomfort comes from a nerve issue. When a nerve is involved, the pain level can range from mild to excruciating. To find out more about some common reasons for this dental malady, read on.

Tooth Decay

Decay happens when an opening forms on the surface of a tooth. The reasons for the opening can be:

  • Wear
  • Damage caused by an accident, tooth grinding, chewing ice, etc.
  • Loose or lost fillings
  • Gum disease

The first sign of decay may be sudden and intense pain in the affected tooth. Fortunately, decay can often be spotted and fixed before it causes you pain. Regular cleanings will involve a detailed look that can identify problem areas in their infancy. The pain from a decayed tooth is caused by air, food, or liquids that enter an opening in the tooth and come in contact with the nerve. If the decay is not removed, the tooth may be lost and a root canal surgery, a crown, or other dental procedures are sure to follow.

Damaged Tooth

Even if decay is not present, a broken or cracked tooth can allow access to the nerve. As soon as air or something else comes into contact with the nerve, pain will surely follow. Minor cracks and breaks can be repaired if you see your dentist right away to get a crown placed on the affected tooth. A crack that is ignored has the potential to lead to gum disease.

Lost Tooth

Unfortunately, losing a tooth could result in more than just an appearance issue. A lost tooth can expose a nerve and be very painful. When an accident causes you to lose your tooth, fast action is necessary if you want to save the tooth. A knocked-out tooth can be reinserted in your mouth if you know what to do and do it fast. Take these steps:

  1. Preserve the lost tooth in milk or saltwater.
  2. You can find tooth-preserving kits at pharmacies.
  3. See your dentist immediately.

If the lost tooth cannot be re-implanted, you must fill the empty space with a bridge or implant. Missing teeth can allow your other teeth to move around and become loose, which can lead to gum disease.

When you experience pain in the mouth, call your dentistry clinic right away.