The survival of your tooth depends a lot on the condition of the pulp in it. It is the network of nerves, tissues and blood vessels that occupy the hollow center of every tooth. It extends from the crown of the teeth (the most visible part of the tooth) down to its roots. There is a particular branch of dentistry that deals with the prevention and treatment of pulp problems. A general practitioner dentist might suggest that you see a dentist that specializes in endodontics when they see that the problem is on the pulp.
The pulp contains specialized cells referred to as odontoblasts. They use this to nourish the surrounding dentin. These cells are also able to relay sensory information, that’s why when the pulp is injured or damaged, it brings about a different kind of pain that can sometimes be intolerable.
What types of pulp damage can you suffer from?
The pulp can be damaged in so many different ways. However, the most common type of damage is caused by undetected tooth decay and an advanced case of periodontal disease. Erosion and abrasion can also cause the wear and tear of the outer layer of the tooth’s natural protection, leaving the pulp in a vulnerable state. The pulp of an adjacent tooth may also be under trauma when the tooth beside it is injured or is knocked loose.
There is two basic types of pulp damage –reversible and irreversible type. Its effects can range from minor tooth sensitivity to the complete death of the nerve. Worse, it could also cause the infection of the surrounding tissues. The symptoms of pulp damage may vary on the severity of the infection which includes fever, prolonged sensitivity, pain, swelling and tenderness of the gums or even cracked teeth.
Is hypersensitivity an indication of pulp damage?
Although tooth sensitivity may be an indication of pulp damage, it doesn’t always mean that. The teeth become sensitive because the dentist has already been exposed, which allows the sensations of cold, heat and irritation to reach to the roots of the teeth. However, dentists recommend the use of highly sensitive toothpaste to help manage the sensitivity. The effects of such may accrue over time. Also, it may take more than one brushing to be able to feel the relief. The active ingredients vary from one brand to another. If one doesn’t work well for you, then you should just go for another brand and try your luck.
If you’re suspecting of pulp damage, it is best to confirm it with your dentist. Apart from the confirmation, they’ll be able to tell you how else you can protect your teeth and gums to prevent other dental problems in the future.