Guide To The Causes Of A Toothache

Tooth Decay

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Decaying of the teeth happens when the protective enamel around teeth becomes damaged and worn away. If plaque isn't properly cleaned away, it can harden into tartar, which is more difficult to remove. Bacteria feed on plaque and can cause an infection in an individual's mouth. Plaque also contains acids that leech away the minerals in tooth enamel. The erosion causes holes to open in the enamel. After the enamel has been worn away, the acids and bacteria begin to damage the dentin layer of the teeth. This destruction happens more quickly, since dentin is not very resistant to acid. The dentin in teeth contains small tubes that communicate with the nerves, which leads to sensitivity. When the acid eats through the dentin, it reaches the pulp, and this inner portion of the tooth swells. Since the swelling doesn't have anywhere to go, the nerve becomes compressed, which can lead to constant and serious pain.

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Katherine MacAulay
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