The symptoms of a toothache can range from mild to excruciating. Because toothaches can be caused by numerous conditions, your dentist will need to determine the source before implementing an effective treatment plan. One of the most common causes of tooth pain is acid erosion, also known as enamel erosion. This dental condition can lead to tooth sensitivity when eating or drinking hot, cold, or sweet foods and beverages. Acid erosion can also lead to throbbing toothaches, especially if the underlying dentin and nerves are exposed. Here are some ways your dentist can diagnose acid erosion and some treatment options they may recommend to manage your symptoms.
Diagnosing Acid Erosion
Your dentist will take a medical and dental history from you to determine if you have any risk factors that could predispose you to acid erosion-related toothaches. They may ask you if you consume highly acidic products, take dietary supplements such as vitamin C (ascorbic acid), and have acid reflux disease. When stomach acid rises up into your esophagus and throat, it can affect the enamel on your teeth, making it thin and weak, which can lead to dental pain. Your dentist will also perform an oral examination and assess your teeth for signs of acid erosion, such as tooth discoloration. When your enamel thins due to acid erosion, it allows the dark yellow dentin to show through.
Treating Acid Erosion-Related Toothaches
While existing damage caused by acid erosion is not reversible, there are steps you and your dentist can take to help prevent further enamel erosion and desensitize your teeth to minimize pain when consuming trigger foods and drinks.
Your dentist may recommend brushing your teeth with a remineralizing toothpaste to help reduce sensitivity and tooth pain. Dental crowns may also be recommended for toothaches caused by acid erosion. Dental crowns fit over your teeth to shield them against irritants and nerve sensitivity. Limiting your intake of acidic products, working with your primary care doctor to manage your acid reflux disease, and avoiding brushing your teeth too hard can help prevent tooth pain from acid erosion.
If you suffer from frequent dental pain or experience dental sensitivity, make an appointment with your dentist to rule out acid erosion. Once acid erosion has been identified through a comprehensive oral examination and appropriately treated, you may be able to resume eating and drinking your favorite foods and beverages without sensitivity and tooth pain.
For more information on toothaches, contact a professional near you.