According to the Academy of General Dentistry, around 40 million adults in the US suffer from sensitivity in their teeth. If you find yourself avoiding very cold or hot foods because it hurts your teeth, you may be one of the ones with this condition. Typically, this sensitivity is a result of worn enamel on teeth in that area which exposes the sensitive insides of the tooth to temperatures or acidic foods.
Sometimes, there could be greater damage to your gums or roots to create sensitivity. In most cases, talking to your dentist can help you get to the bottom of sensitivity and help figure out a way to make it better.
Sensitive on the Inside
Most of your tooth is made of a material called Dentin. It contains tiny tubules and nerve endings. The outside of every tooth is covered and protected by a material called Enamel. Everyone has heard of enamel because it is critical to the safety and health of your tooth long term. If the enamel on your teeth is weak or worn away, you will start to get cavities or worse.
Dentin and the nerve endings in it are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures as well as acidic foods, sweet foods and basically everything you enjoy eating. That’s why it is critical to protect your enamel as much as possible by reducing your intake of acidic foods, brushing softly and protecting your teeth from trauma or other damage.
In other severe cases, sensitivity can happen when you have gum disease causing your gums to recede and exposing the extremely sensitive roots of your teeth. If your gums are receding and you’re experiencing a lot of pain, you should go see a dentist immediately.
Treating Specific Causes
Seeing your dentist regularly is possibly the most important step in your oral health and it is no different when it comes to tooth sensitivity. After an examination, your dentist can tell you what may be causing sensitivity and fix it such as filling a cavity or finding evidence of something more serious.
If you have gum disease that has caused significant damage, your dentist can work with a periodontist to help repair your gums to prevent further damage to your mouth and reduce sensitivity and pain.
Desensitization Products and Long-Term Care
Even if there is no obvious damage or issues with your teeth, some people still experience sensitivity due to thin enamel. For these cases, there are still a few options for you. First, your dentist can help strengthen your enamel by applying a fluoride gel. This will help restore and reinforce your enamel against future issues.
Additionally, you can use sensitivity focused toothpastes that help dull the nerve endings and prevent this annoying pain. Sensitive toothpastes combined with a soft brush and the right, gentle brushing technique can help you enjoy an icy drink or a hot tea again with no discomfort.
If you have been living with tooth sensitivity or pain, contact us today at Hassey Dental to make an appointment. Our expert staff and highly trained dentists can help narrow down the causes of your oral pain and tooth sensitivity.