If you wince with pain after sipping a hot cup of coffee or an icy drink, chances are that you suffer from “dentin hypersensitivity,” more commonly known as tooth sensitivity. At least 45 million adults in the United States suffer at some time from tooth sensitivity.
Causes of Sensitivity
Sensitive teeth result when the second layer of your teeth (the dentin) becomes exposed. This can happen on the chewing surface of the tooth as well as at the gum line. Exposed areas of the tooth can cause pain and even affect your eating, drinking, and breathing habits.
Hot and cold temperature changes can cause teeth to expand and contract. Over time, your teeth can develop microscopic cracks that allow these sensations to seep through the tooth to your nerves.
In other cases, sensitive teeth are the result of gum disease, years of unconsciously clenching or grinding your teeth, or improper brushing habits.
If you notice swelling gums or constant facial pain, you should schedule a consultation. We would be happy to determine whether you are suffering from either gum disease or bruxism (clenching and grinding teeth. Please also note that, if the bristles of your toothbrush are pointing in multiple directions, you’re brushing too hard.
Tooth sensitivity can also be increased by abrasive toothpastes or by the ingredients found in some whitening toothpastes. Tartar-control toothpastes that contain sodium pyrophosphate can also be a factor in tooth sensitivity.
Can my tooth sensitivity be cured?
Yes, we can make that happen in some cases. You can also help to alleviate some of the pain associated with sensitive teeth. Solutions include:
- Desensitizing toothpaste.
- Desensitizing ionization.
- Filling materials, including fluoride.
- Decreasing your intake of acid-containing foods.
Sometimes tooth sensitivity may also be caused by a cavity or abscess that is not yet visible. Through our dental technology and experienced eyes, we can tell you what is causing your tooth sensitivity. This is another reason why frequent dental exams can be very beneficial to your overall oral health.
Bring Your Sensitivity Issues to Us!
Contact Tabor Dental Associates if you notice any change in your teeth’s sensitivity to temperature.