I always had this question why dental cavities cause pain. I stumbled on this question on the reasons why dental cavities are painful. I have a followup question on how dental cavities are different from bodily injuries. I was under the impression that pain causes inflammation which in turn triggers something like mitosis that causes healing. Why does the same not happen with the dental cavities? Why are they not treated like the bodily injuries?


1 Answer 1


I disagree with some of these statements. Dental cavities are injuries and are treated like injuries warrent.

Unlike maybe trauma or cancer, dental cavities are a injury caused by decay of the enamel (the protective hard shell of the tooth). The decay is a result of the proliferation of bacteria, streptococcus mutants which releases an acid and breaks down the tooth.

When you have perforated enamel, other particles like food can get caught in the tooth and give rise to the growth of other bacteria. At this point you have a cavity.

Infection, the presence of certain toxins, and trauma all causes inflammation, a type of non specific immune reaction characterized by increased blood flow to the site of injury (which causes swelling, pain, redness).

  • $\begingroup$ Can you be specific on where you disagree? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 15:52
  • $\begingroup$ You did not explain The increased blood flow and trauma happens to kickin healing processes in other parts of the body. Why does this not happen in the mouth? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 16:36
  • $\begingroup$ @koya it does happen in the mouth. My disagreement was in reference to your mention that oral injuries did not induce inflammation. After re-reading your question I'm going to delete mention if that and edit some content.- I think I have a clearer idea what your asking. $\endgroup$
    – rhill45
    Commented Apr 26, 2014 at 19:27

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