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Exposed nerve?

M

MumOfBoys1985

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2020
Messages
236
Location
Uk
Hi all,
I have been for my 6 month dental check up (arghhhh totally stressed by it even though my dentist is simply wonderful). I mentioned to her I have a little area of gum on the palate side, which is sore when I tepe brush and use toothbrush. Its where the gum goes between the teeth. She has checked gums and all are 0 when she did the poke test (no idea what the proper name is sorry!), xray was all clear and the uncomfortable sensation (not really a pain, just smarts a bit) is literally just when I brush or use tepe. She suggested it's likely the nerve is slightly exposed and/very minor recession - is this bad? How does a nerve get exposed? I'm in a complete panic. She suggested rubbing sensitive toothpaste on the area, but If the nerve is exposed will the tooth fall out eventually?

Thank you so much
 
Gordon

Gordon

Administrator
Staff member
Verified dentist
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
7,854
It isn't, it's just a manner of speaking. I wrote a big (by my standards) essay about this a while back, hang on...


The relevant bit is here: The inner part of the tooth (dentine) has little tubes running through it from the pulp (the "nerve") to the join with the outer part (enamel). These little tubes carry nerve fibres. These nerves are stupid, they only carry pain receptors, not hot/cold/sweet or anything else useful, just pain. If anything stimulates them then "pain" is sent back.

Basically she means that there is a bit of dentine exposed, this can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the enamel has been worn away, sometimes there's a gap between the enamel on the crown and the cementum that covers the root surfaces and sometimes the cementum has been worn away.
Rubbing sensitive toothpaste in there will block up the tubes and stop the sensitivity, using it with a finger is better than brushing with it, do it last thing at night before bed to stop it being washed off too quickly.

And don't panic about it :)
 
M

MumOfBoys1985

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2020
Messages
236
Location
Uk
@Gordon thank you so much. I thought the soreness was more from the gum than the tooth but I guess it would be very difficult to tell as its when I brush and use the tepe, so I guess it's always touching the tooth and the gum at the same time. I will try rubbing the toothpaste on directly and see if that helps, fingers crossed.
 
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