Teeth sensitivity can occur when you bite into a cold ice cream cone or drink a hot cup of coffee. It’s a painful feeling that makes your teeth and mouth cringe. If you suffer from teeth sensitivity it’s usually a sign there’s something wrong. There are many things that can cause sensitive teeth so it’s important to see your dentist right away to find a solution and end your teeth pain.
Why are my teeth sensitive?
Your teeth have an exterior layer called enamel, which protects your teeth. Beneath your gums you have cementum, a protective layer that anchors the tooth root. Underneath the enamel and cementum are hollow tubes called dentin. When the enamel breaks down, heat and cold pass through the tubules allowing them to arouse the nerves and cells inside the tooth, causing sensitivity and sharp pain.
There are several reasons that cause the enamel and cementum to break down and become exposed. These can include:
Plaque – a sticky bacteria that forms on the teeth. It produces acids that erode tooth enamel.
Bruxism – clenching and grinding your teeth, often during sleep, can deteriorate the enamel.
Periodontal disease and gum recession – when the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away, exposing the tooth and tooth roots.
Acidic foods and drinks – consuming a large amount of soda, juices and citrus fruits can erode the enamel over time.
Dental work – gum treatments and dental treatments that are close to the pulp can cause teeth sensitivity.
Treatment for teeth sensitivity
Sensitive teeth can be treated. Depending on the cause of your sensitivity, your dentist may recommend a number of different treatment options including:
Desensitizing toothpaste. It can reduce tooth sensitivity but it generally requires several applications before the pain subsides. Desensitizing toothpaste is only effective when there is exposed dentine, generally due to gum disease or gum recession.
Fluoride. Fluoride can be applied to the sensitive areas of your teeth to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce pain. A fluoride mouth rinse is another temporary solution to stop the pain.
Dental filling. The tooth decay will be removed and filled with a compound to close the hole.
Teeth bonding. A bonding resin can be applied to the exposed root surfaces.
Gum graft. If you are missing gum tissue, a small amount of tissue can be taken from another area and applied to the affected area. This can protect exposed roots and reduce sensitivity.
Root canal. Your dentist might recommend removing the pulp, nerves and bacteria in the tooth root and complete it with a crown to preserve the tooth.
If you suffer from sensitivity, make an appointment to see your dentist. Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing sensitive-tooth pain. Ask your dentist if you have any questions about your daily oral hygiene routine or concerns about tooth sensitivity.
Guru Dentistry of Irvine offers advanced dentistry in a relaxed, caring atmosphere. Our philosophy is to treat you with gentle friendly care and offer you prompt appointments that respect your time. To schedule an appointment call our our Irvine dental office at (714) 557-7744 or book an appointment online.