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Fort Myers, FL Dental Office
Drs. Bass and Donovan Dentistry
5248 Red Cedar Drive, Suite 101
Fort Myers, FL 33907
(239)939-4737

At Drs. Bass and Donovan Dentistry, we strive to provide the best possible dental care available.  In addition, we are dedicated to providing the residents of Fort Myers and surrounding communities with current oral health education.  If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, feel free to call us at (239)939-4737 or contact us electronically.  

What Are the Sources of Dental Pain?

   Have you ever had a toothache?  If you have, we imaging you remember it.  Tooth pain can be one of the most difficult pains to deal with.  Dentistry would be simple if there was just one reason for tooth pain.  Instead, tooth pain is a complex problem that often requires complex treatment.  Unfortunately, this article will not give you enough information to self diagnose but if you strive to know your body better, this may be some great info!!

   Dental pain can originate from several different structures in the oral cavity.  First, lets start with the tooth.  The tooth is comprised of three general parts.  The very outside of the tooth is the enamel.  Enamel is the hardest substance in the body.  Enamel does not have a blood or nerve supply so no pain can be felt from this area.  Just inside of enamel is dentin.  Dentin is a complex structure consisting mainly of tubules that house cells.  There are several different theories surrounding why dentin can cause pain but the fact remains that if dentin is exposed due to erosion, excessive grinding, trauma, and other causes, it can hurt.  The very inner core of the tooth is where the pulp is.  Pulp is the life supply of the tooth.  If decay has infiltrated the tooth far enough to reach the pulp, pain can be a major issue.  This tissue essentially can become inflammed.  If that inflammation progresses, the tooth can essentially die.  At this point the tooth may no longer hurt but expensive and severe problems can quickly arise.  

   The second major source of pain is the soft tissue in the mouth.  This includes the gums, tongue, and what is called the mucosa.  The mucosa is the rest of the soft pink tissue inside the mouth that is not the gums, including the hard and soft palate.  Ulcers and abcesses are among the problems that can cause pain in the mouth.  

   Finally, the bone that houses the teeth can be another source of pain.  There are two main ways that the bone can be a problem.  First, there is periodontal disease.  This is when gum diease has progressed to the point that the infection spreads to the bone.  The result can be the loss of teeth or worse.  Second, when the pulp tissue dies, that infection can spread out of the end of the root to the bone tissues.  Pain can be felt upon chewing or touching near that area.  

   Dental pain is not something that should be ignored.  In many circumstances dental pain will go away on it's own.  The problem is that some of these times, the dental pain goes away because the tooth or bone is dying.  The absence of pain in these cases does not indicate the absence of disease.  We urge you to have your dentist evaluate any pain that you may be having.  Much like most of the other health professions, early diagnosis and treatment can save significant amounts of money and time as well as conserving the healthy remaining structures of the body.  

   For more information, feel free to visit the American Dental Association's website and their article regarding tooth pain.  

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