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Author Topic: how does sugar make teeth ache?  (Read 23539 times)

Offline annie123

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how does sugar make teeth ache?
« on: 03/11/2013 21:44:21 »
When at the dentist complaining of an aching tooth they always ask- do sweet things make it ache? What is it in sugar that could make a tooth sensitive?


 

Offline dlorde

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Re: how does sugar make teeth ache?
« Reply #1 on: 04/11/2013 17:08:26 »
Sugar feeds the bacteria in the plaque on the teeth that secrete acids that erode the enamel, then erode the dentine beneath, opening channels to the nerve. Once the nerve is exposed, almost anything will trigger pain - hot, cold, acids, alkalis, sugar solution, etc.
 

Offline annie123

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Re: how does sugar make teeth ache?
« Reply #2 on: 04/11/2013 20:16:56 »
Thanks - I knew about the destruction giving  access to the tooth but why does sugar make the nerve hurt? if I put sugar on a cut in the skin where there are nerves it doesn't hurt any more than otherwise.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: how does sugar make teeth ache?
« Reply #3 on: 04/11/2013 21:58:36 »
Thanks - I knew about the destruction giving  access to the tooth but why does sugar make the nerve hurt? if I put sugar on a cut in the skin where there are nerves it doesn't hurt any more than otherwise.
Different nerves are sensitive to different stimuli and to different degrees.

I'm guessing here, but the skin is an interface and barrier to the outside world, so its nerve responses are tailored to respond accordingly; they'll respond with pain to mechanical damage or extreme conditions that threaten damage (great heat or cold, sharp points, etc.) but because skin damage is fairly common, their sensitivity will be lower than nerves in teeth that are not tailored for such exposure. Sugar solution is more concentrated than cell contents, so will dehydrate cells by osmosis. Tooth nerves are probably far more sensitive to this effect than skin nerves.

There may also be some reflection of the severity of, for example, a small cut on the skin, compared to an infected tooth (the usual result of a hole in the tooth), but I'm not sure how that would work...
« Last Edit: 04/11/2013 22:01:21 by dlorde »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: how does sugar make teeth ache?
« Reply #4 on: 05/11/2013 01:19:53 »
You don't necessarily have to have decay to stimulate the nerves of teeth. There are microtubles in the dentin layer (beneath the enamel, but above the pulp that has nerves) and sugar, or ions from acid, or biting on tin foil, or even cold, will result in nerves being stimulated from changes these things cause in the fluid in these small microtubules. Tooth pastes (like Sensodyn)  that make your teeth less sensitive supposedly clog up these microtubules and prevent these reactions. Your teeth may be fine, but you may have less or thinner enamel than you used to. But of course,  a dentist can tell whether decay is the source of your sensitivity.
« Last Edit: 05/11/2013 01:26:55 by cheryl j »
 

Offline annie123

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Re: how does sugar make teeth ache?
« Reply #5 on: 08/11/2013 01:54:15 »
Thanks. Also, how can a tooth ache if it has had a root canal procedure? - apart from problems with bite? Can a microscopic crack make it ache, even if it has no nerve? And when a root canal is being done, can thye drill make microscopic cracks?
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: how does sugar make teeth ache?
« Reply #6 on: 08/11/2013 10:29:25 »
Thanks. Also, how can a tooth ache if it has had a root canal procedure? - apart from problems with bite? Can a microscopic crack make it ache, even if it has no nerve? And when a root canal is being done, can thye drill make microscopic cracks?
I've had three root canal procedures. Once the nerve is removed, there's no way for the tooth itself to ache or register any sensation (just as when the nerve is anaesthetised before drilling), although the surrounding gum may be sensitive, and in serious cases of infection, the bone itself may be involved, which must be very unpleasant.

However, as I discovered, it's sometimes difficult to remove the whole nerve, because teeth with more than one root may have nerve branches in more than one of the roots. The root canal procedure (as I had it) involves manually inserting thin metal files down the root canal to clean out infection and destroy the nerve there, then fill it to prevent infection; on rare occasions the nerve may be missed, or more often (as in my case), the root canal may be too narrow for even the thinnest file to get down, and the dentine too hard for the file to wear a passage through.

I had a root canal procedure on a molar, which was then crowned, but one root canal of the three (four?) was too narrow and couldn't be properly cleaned out. It was thought that it was probably too narrow to have a nerve branch, but a couple of years later, I got toothache in that tooth and had to have the crown drilled and a more thorough job done of cleaning out that root canal, which had turned out to have a nerve branch in it after all.

I suppose it's possible for the drilling to make microscopic cracks, cause existing cracks to move or open a little, but I've not heard that this is a particular problem. My dentist says a lot of teeth have cracks, but they're generally only a problem when they get too big and threaten to split the tooth, or go too deep or wide and allow infection to get in.
« Last Edit: 08/11/2013 10:33:15 by dlorde »
 

Offline annie123

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Re: how does sugar make teeth ache?
« Reply #7 on: 08/11/2013 23:58:50 »
Thanks. That does give me something to counter the dentist's claim that there can't be any ache because he's done root canals on all the roots. I guess nerve branches don't show up on X rays. Also, sometimes I think they miss a root. I just had one done on a third root that was not found by the dentist who did two roots on a molar some years ago. It took a lot of X rays to find it including a scan. G---knows what that did to my radiation damage risk.
But being a dentist has its rewards I guess. Over a thousand $ for the X rays and root canal procedure.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: how does sugar make teeth ache?
« Reply #8 on: 09/11/2013 00:59:36 »
That does give me something to counter the dentist's claim that there can't be any ache because he's done root canals on all the roots.
Well strictly, the ache itself is the counter claim... ;)
 

Offline annie123

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Re: how does sugar make teeth ache?
« Reply #9 on: 11/11/2013 21:02:33 »
Yes, of course, but the 'it's all in your head' (another bit of it) response, put in politer terms, is hard to answer if one doesn't have info like the stuff about nerve branches.
 

Offline JenniferAnn

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Re: how does sugar make teeth ache?
« Reply #10 on: 27/03/2014 12:24:14 »
Actually it's a myth, Sugar is not the main cause of cavity. The truth is, acid produced by bacteria in your mouth is the cause of cavities, says Kimberly A. Harms, DDS, an American Dental Association consumer adviser and former president of the Minnesota Dental Association. However, these bacteria are triggered to make acid when you eat anything with carbohydrates -- and sugar is a carb.  For more information you can always consult your newbielink:https://plus.google.com/108015296870575815011/ [nonactive].
 

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Re: how does sugar make teeth ache?
« Reply #10 on: 27/03/2014 12:24:14 »

 

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