You've probably heard the saying, "the early bird catches the worm." But have you ever wondered if there's a worm behind your toothache? The ancient belief of a "tooth worm" eating your tooth from within might sound intriguing. However, the real story lies in the microscopic world of your teeth.
Is Your Toothache Caused by a Toothworm?
Upon close inspection with a microscope, the diseased tubes within the dentin layer of teeth might seem worm-like. These are the dentin tubules. Their role is pivotal as they transmit sensations like heat or cold from the tooth's surface to the nerve. While they may resemble worms, their function is entirely different. When exposed, these tubules can cause pain and discomfort, but they are not the culprits behind tooth decay.
If it's not mythical worms causing your dental woes, what is? The real antagonist in this story is often the bacteria-rich plaque. This accumulation on the teeth leads to dental problems like tooth decay, cavities, and even gum diseases such as gingivitis. Chronic periodontitis, for instance, is a prevalent concern among school-aged children, as per the Department of Health.
Rest assured, no imaginary worm is behind your toothache. However, there are professional treatments available to alleviate pain and restore dental health. Your dentist might:
- Clean and fill the affected tooth.
- Apply a pulp capping to save the dental pulp from dying when exposed.
- Opt for a root canal if the nerve is compromised.
- In severe cases, consider tooth extraction, followed by a dental implant or bridge.
While you don’t need to worry about a worm — you do need to work at keeping your mouth healthy and clean. How? There are a few simple ways. You should:
- Brush your teeth twice daily. For optimal results, consider using the Colgate Max White Charcoal Toothbrush in combination with Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection Great Regular Flavour Toothpaste.
- Make flossing a daily routine.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash regularly. Enhance your oral hygiene with Colgate Plax Freshmint Mouthwash.
- Schedule bi-annual dental check-ups.
- Address dental issues promptly.