Teeth have a very hard enamel exterior that is very durable and strong, but poor standards of oral hygiene or dental trauma can breech this tough exterior exposing the extremely sensitive dental nerve within the tooth. This can cause pain ranging from a mild sensitivity due to extremes of temperature in the mouth from eating and drinking to very severe pain caused by dental infections and abscesses.
Tooth enamel is commonly broken down by plaque acids and tartar in the mouth which, if not repaired with a filling or crown, can expose the pulp and nerve of the tooth to bacterial infection. If the nerve or root becomes infected the body will produce an excess of white blood cells to fight the infection. This can build up on a pocket around the tooth leading to a painful, pus-filled abscess. These can be very painful and can also lead to a spread of the initial infection.
Dental pain can also come in the form of erupting teeth or wisdom teeth buried beneath the gum. These can cause interruption to bite and painful irritation that is very uncomfortable. One of the common features of all dental pain is that it is very hard to control. For someone suffering dental pain it can seem there is little they can do to stop it. In most cases over-the-counter painkillers will be effective but patients should always see a dentist even if the pain appears to have disappeared. In cases of extreme infection or serious gum disease patients may require anti-biotics and more serious pain relief. It is important to remember in all cases of dental pain to see a Bristol dentist as soon as possible.