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Home > Illness & Symptoms > Mouth/Teeth/Lips > Toothache > Cause for consumer description

Toothache- Cause(s)

The tooth is composed of two parts: Crown and Root. The Roots of the tooth are located below the gum line and are responsible for supporting and attaching the tooth to the surrounding tissues. The Crown of the tooth is located above the gum line and helps with mastication. 
The tooth has four basic components: Enamel, Dentin, Pulp, and Periodontium. 

Enamel 
- The enamel is the hard, outer layer of the tooth that is roughly 1.5mm to 2mm in thickness. It is made up of crystalline calcium phosphate salts and serves to protect all of the underlying tooth structures.  
Dentin
- Dentin is a softer structure that lies under the enamel and serves to transport nutrients from the pulp.  
Pulp
- The pulp has vascular and neural tissues that bring in nutrients and allows for pain sensation. 
Periodontium 
- The periodontium supports and anchors the tooth to surrounding tissues. 
A toothache can be caused by many different factors but the number one cause of a toothache is due to tooth decay or dental cavity. It is very easy to get a cavity from eating too much candy or other sugar containing foods. This is because certain bacteria, such as Streptococcus mutans, Lactobaccilus casei, and Actinomyces viscosus, in the mouth can grow well in a sugar-enriched environment and convert carbohydrates into acids. These acids can then eat their way through the enamel. If the problem is not treated right away, the entire tooth may be destroyed.

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