When you drink a warm cup of coffee or bite into a popsicle, do you instantly pucker your lips or jolt your hand to your mouth because your teeth hurt? If you answered “yes,” it sounds like you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity. Although it’s a common problem, it can make you think twice when choosing foods and drinks. Thankfully, you don’t need to live with the discomfort. You can get the relief you need by addressing the root cause of the problem. Not sure what causes sensitive teeth? Here’s what you need to know to stop your pain.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
Tooth sensitivity is normal after you’ve had dental work or even a whitening treatment; however, it usually subsides within a few days. If your sensitivity suddenly develops or it worsens, it can indicate a problem.
Sensitivity occurs when the hard outer layer of your tooth, called the enamel, is compromised. This makes the underlying dentin susceptible to outside factors, like heat and cold. Your dentin connects to the nerve center of your tooth via tiny tubes, which send pain signals from the nerves to your brain.
There are several issues that can lead to tooth sensitivity, such as:
- Gum recession.
- Untreated tooth decay.
- Worn fillings or crowns.
- Exposed tooth root.
- Fractures in a tooth.
How is Tooth Sensitivity Treated?
The treatment for tooth sensitivity varies depending on the underlying cause of the problem. Your dentist will find the origin of your pain and create a customized treatment plan. Depending on your specific needs, your treatment may include:
- Desensitizing Toothpaste: The toothpaste helps block pain sensations from the surface of the tooth to the nerve.
- Fluoride Gel: A fluoride varnish strengthens the enamel to reduce pain sensations.
- Crown or Inlay: Decay is treated with a crown or inlay to restore the health, function, and appearance of a tooth.
- Gum Graft: Gum tissue is grafted to areas where the root is exposed to protect the tooth.
- Root Canal: The inner layer of a tooth is removed to treat an infection.
Can I Prevent Tooth Sensitivity?
You can’t fully prevent tooth sensitivity, but there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of it?
- Brush your teeth using a soft-bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste.
- Don’t brush aggressively.
- Floss daily.
- Visit your dentist for a cleaning and checkup twice a year.
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks.
- Don’t overuse whitening products.
- Treat gum disease.
- Treat bruxism.
- Replace worn dental restorations.
- Repair damaged teeth.
Stop Your Pain Today!
You can enjoy your favorite foods and drinks again with the help of your dentist. Treat your tooth sensitivity today!
About Dr. Nick Cobb
Dr. Nick Cobb has committed his life to providing world-class dental care to the community. He combines the art and science of dentistry to help his patients achieve lasting oral health from his modern dental office. If you’re dealing with tooth sensitivity, Dr. Cobb will create the customized solution you need to stop your discomfort. Contact Heart of Texas Smiles today to schedule your consultation.