Although it is a common dental problem, sensitive teeth should never be taken lightly. If you wince every time you eat ice cream or drink coffee, you may be suffering from tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity can involve either slight or severe tooth pain when you consume foods and drinks that are hot or cold. Some people have such severe sensitivity that even the winter air hurts when it hits their pearly whites.
Patients should understand that tooth sensitivity is not something they have to live with. Your dentist can help you determine what is causing your tooth pain so that an effective treatment plan can be put in place. Most tooth sensitivity develops when the tooth’s enamel wears so thin that the dentin layer of the tooth is exposed. When this inner dentin layer is exposed, the nerve branches of your tooth are easily accessible, which causes noticeable sensitivity.
If you have tooth sensitivity, here are some common causes to consider:
Brushing your teeth too hard. Harder is not always better when it comes to cleaning your teeth. Brush strokes that are too aggressive and high-pressured can actually wear down the enamel layer of your teeth.
Poor oral hygiene. While brushing too hard can cause sensitivity, not brushing at all can be equally detrimental. Among other problems, not keeping a diligent brushing and flossing routine allows tartar to build up at the gum line. Untreated infected or inflamed gums will lead to tooth sensitivity.
Bad habits. If you grind your teeth or consume acidic foods and drinks on a frequent basis, this will cause long-term tooth wear. Remember that your enamel layer is the first to break down, which is the primary cause of tooth sensitivity.
Untreated cavities. This is a major reason to see your dentist if you have a sensitive tooth. You may have an area of decay that needs to be treated. If you ignore it, you may need a root canal, crown or even an extraction.
Damaged filling. Occasionally, tooth sensitivity is caused by an old filling that is leaking or has a crack. Your dentist needs to repair or replace the filling to eliminate your pain.
Receding gums. There are many reasons for receding gums. Inadequate gum height causes the roots of your teeth to be exposed. It may be that you need periodontal disease therapy or even a gum graft to remedy your symptoms.
Let Crabapple Dental treat your sensitive teeth! Your tooth sensitivity may require a simple at-home treatment, such as using a special toothpaste and limiting acidic drinks, or you may need a more complex treatment regime at the dental office. Regardless of what is causing you to avoid that hot chocolate or bowl of ice cream, you should always discuss your tooth sensitivity with your dentist. At our Alpharetta dental clinic, we value the importance of helping patients achieve a smile that is not only healthy and beautiful, but one that is comfortable too.