I’m a dentist and here’s what your ‘tooth worm’ really means – and why it needs urgent attention

LOOKING after your oral health by keeping your teeth and gums healthy is imperative.

If you're suffering with tooth ache though, it could be a sign that you have so-called 'tooth worm'.


For those a bit squeamish – luckily it doesn't actually mean that you have a worm living in your tooth.

One dentist has explained what it is and why you need to get it checked out urgently.

Posting to TikTok, dentist Ben Winters responded to a patient's video.

The dentist at Wincrest Orthodontics in Texas, US, commented on the fact that a worm-like object had been pulled from the patient's tooth during a procedure.

Dr Winters explained: "It's actually the nerve of a tooth.

"Basically this person's tooth is so broken down that she needs a root canal.

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"A root canal is basically removing the whole nerve structure from a tooth and that's what it looks like.

"A little meaty white nervy thing.

"Once they have done all that they fill it up and put a crown on top, seal it up and make sure everything is good to go."

As part of his video, Dr Winter showed a diagram which explained how the root canal worked.

It showed how decay and infected pulp can live below the surface of the tooth and affect the nerves and blood vessels.

In order to remove the little 'worm' nerve, a dentist has to remove the top part of your tooth and extract it.

This is referred to as root canal surgery and can sometimes be painful but is a pain-relieving treatment.

GET IT CHECKED

Opting for this surgery can often help safe a tooth which would have otherwise needed to have been removed.

You might need to have a root canal procedure if you have experienced tooth decay, had leaky filings or have damaged teeth due to trauma, such as a fall or impact.

The NHS states: "Root canal treatment is only required when dental X-rays show that the pulp has been damaged by a bacterial infection.

"The pulp will begin to die if it's infected by bacteria, allowing the bacteria to then multiply and spread."

You should see a dentist straight away if you develop toothache.

If your tooth is infected then the pulp might not be able to heal by itself and there may also be less chance of treatments working.

The NHS says that antibiotics are not effective when it comes to treating root canal infections.

Another dentist previously told The Sun exactly when you need to go for a check up.

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