If you have ever experienced a sudden, sharp pain in your teeth when you drink cold water or eat ice cream, then you have tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity is a common problem that affects many people. It can be hard to alleviate tooth sensitivity since it can be caused by a variety of factors. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, it is important to see a dentist right away. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes of tooth sensitivity and how to fix it!
What is Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is a sharp pain that occurs when your teeth come in contact with hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks. The pain is caused by the exposure of the dentin, which is the inner layer of your tooth. The dentin is covered by a hard outer layer called enamel. When the enamel wears down, the dentin is exposed and your teeth become sensitive.
Dentin is a calcified tissue that makes up the bulk of the tooth beneath the enamel. It is yellow in color and is porous, which allows it to absorb heat and cold easily. Dentin contains small channels called tubules that lead to the pulp chamber, where nerves and blood vessels are located. When dentin becomes exposed, the tubules allow hot, cold, sweet, or acidic substances to reach the nerves and trigger pain.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
There are many different factors that can contribute to tooth sensitivity. Here are a few of the most common:
-Brushing too hard: If you brush your teeth too forcefully, you can wear down the enamel on your teeth. This will expose the dentin and make your teeth sensitive.
-Tooth decay: When you have tooth decay, the bacteria in your mouth can eat away at the enamel on your teeth. This will also expose the dentin and cause tooth sensitivity.
-Gum disease: Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums that can lead to tooth loss. Gum disease can also cause the gums to recede, exposing the root of the tooth. The tooth roots do not have enamel to protect them like the rest of the tooth, so stimuli are able to enter easier.
-Worn fillings: If you have a filling that is worn down, it can expose the dentin and cause tooth sensitivity. This can also happen if the border around the filling starts to leak.
How to Fix Tooth Sensitivity
When it comes to fixing tooth sensitivity, it is important to know the cause. For example, tooth sensitivity caused by decay will need to be treated by removing the decayed tissue and placing a dental filling. Worn fillings will also need to be replaced.
Other causes of tooth sensitivity, however, can be harder to treat and may require a different approach. For example, tooth sensitivity caused by worn enamel or from gum disease. In these cases, your dentist may recommend a variety of treatments to alleviate your sensitivity.
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, there are a few things you can do to alleviate the pain. Here are a few of the most effective treatments:
Fluoride is a mineral naturally found in water and soil that is used in toothpaste and other dental products to strengthen tooth enamel. Fluoride treatments can help to reduce tooth sensitivity by strengthening your tooth enamel and preventing tooth decay. Most dentists apply fluoride to the teeth after a cleaning, however your dentist may recommend more frequent fluoride treatments.
Desensitizing toothpaste contains ingredients, such as potassium nitrate and stannous fluoride, that help to block the pain signals from the teeth to the nerves. It also omits ingredients that have been known to cause irritation, such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). This combination can help to reduce tooth sensitivity.
Cosmetic Dental Treatments:
Although cosmetic dental treatments are primarily known for their ability to improve the look of one’s smile, they can actually do so much more for your teeth. In fact, there are a few cosmetic dental treatments that can help to reduce tooth sensitivity. These include bonding, veneers, and crowns. Bonding and veneers can both be used as a protective shield on the front side of the teeth to block out stimuli, while dental crowns can be used to cover the entire surface of a tooth to prevent tooth sensitivity.
Gum disease can cause the gum tissue to recede down the tooth surface, exposing the sensitive tooth surface. If this happens and you experience sensitivity, a gum graft would be recommended. This is a procedure where healthy tissue is transplanted to the gums in order to cover the tooth roots and encourage the growth of new gum tissue. Gum grafts can help to reduce tooth sensitivity since the tooth roots will once again be covered by gum tissue.
In this blog, we have discussed tooth sensitivity and what causes it. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, it is important to see a dentist in order to determine the underlying cause. We have also gone over some of the most effective treatments for reducing tooth sensitivity. These include fluoride treatments, desensitizing toothpaste, cosmetic dental treatments, and gum grafts. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, we encourage you to talk to your dentist about which treatment option would be best for you.