How Do Tooth Nerves Work to Signal Pain?

We’ve all felt that familiar pain, a bolt of what feels like electricity when you drink something too hot or too cold. Or the feeling of a drill when your tooth isn’t completely numb yet when you’re getting a filling for a cavity. Each of our teeth has a nerve attached to it, as well as a blood supply. These nerves can cause intense pain that work to achieve the same goal as other nerves: to alert our brains that something isn’t right in our body.

The nerves and blood supply of a tooth are found in the pulp chamber, which sits directly underneath the dentin and enamel, which is the hardest substance in the body, according to the American Dental Association. Within the dentin are small tubules, which lead to the pulp chamber. When the dentin erodes, the tubules are exposed and foods and drink can reach the nerve more easily.

When enamel erodes, most often due to a buildup of acid in the mouth from eating sugary or acidic foods, the dentin is the next substance to become exposed. Dentin isn’t as hard as enamel, so it can erode, as well, leading to increased sensitivity.

The most important things to remember to reduce sensitivity are to practice strong oral hygiene habits and to refrain from eating foods that eat away at your enamel. As with the rest of your body, your diet has a huge impact on the state of your oral health.

If you have any questions about your dental health, or if you would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.

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