You would think that it would be easy to distinguish between a canine and a molar when one of them began to ache, right? I mean, they are not even close to the same. It is like being able to tell the difference between stubbing your big toe and your pinky toe.
You can tell them apart, right? With teeth, it is not quite so cut and dry. You see, when one tooth aches, it is hard to tell which one it is. But why is that? We wanted to find out.
It turns out, the brain simply can't tell. The cortexes in the brain that respond to different kinds of pain all reacted almost exactly the same when two different teeth were stimulated in a study conducted by Clemens Forstrer in Germany.
Between a bottom canine and a top one on the opposite side, the same regions of the brain lit up like Christmas lights. The person being studied could not tell which tooth the pain originated from.
Researchers and dentists alike cannot see a vast difference between the pathways differing from each tooth. Researchers, the "patient," and dentists see no reason for this to be the case, yet it is all the same. Your brain does not know the difference. This is why it is insanely difficult to pinpoint which tooth hurts when an ache first begins.
It is essential when a pain starts to go see your dentist immediately. He or she can help find which tooth the pain starts at, why it hurts, and help you to find the best solution for the ailment at hand.
It could be a cavity, start of gum disease, or something much worse. You may not be able to tell, but there is no fooling an x-ray machine! They see right through whatever is going on there.
Please contact our office if you have any questions about a toothache.