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iVillage: 10 Hidden Causes of Pain

5 of 11

Receding Gums

Where does it hurt? Your teeth

Why? Tooth pain isn’t always caused by a cavity or dying roots. It’s often the result of receding gums. Teeth are made of dentin, which contains microscopic canals that act as conduits to nerves, and are protected by enamel (the part of the tooth you can see) and cementum (a substance under the enamel). When the protective tooth enamel and cementum wear down or the gums recede, the dentin is exposed, and anything that enters the mouth (food, beverages) has direct access to nerves via the canals in the exposed dentin. Ouch!

How to avoid it? To prevent receding gums and to protect tooth enamel, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and don’t scrub. Ask your dentist for a quick lesson on how to brush correctly. Also, a desensitizing toothpaste can help block transmission of sensations from the tooth surface to the nerve.

(CREDIT: Getty Images )
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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