Millions of Americans experience sensitive teeth. If you are one of them, you know first-hand how the aching, throbbing, and shooting pain around your teeth and gums can affect your daily life. Maybe you’ve even given up eating some of your favorite foods to help manage your sensitivity. If so, there’s good news. When it comes to tooth sensitivity, there are numerous suggestions and treatments to reduce pain while caring for your sensitive teeth.
To better understand how teeth become sensitive, consider the material on the inside of your tooth. It is called dentin. Protected by the outer layer of tooth enamel, dentin is a porous material, comprised of nerve endings and tiny tubules. When the nerve endings are exposed to hot, cold, and acidic foods, tooth sensitivity begins. Yet, how is the dentin exposed?
Several factors contribute to the wearing away of tooth enamel, which results in exposing the dentin. For instance, brushing aggressively can cause enamel to break down. Over time, hard brushing can also cause gums to recede, or pull away from teeth. This exposes the dentin closest to the tooth’s root, which is sure to cause discomfort. In turn, highly acidic foods that cause tooth erosion play a role. Broken, chipped, or other trauma to the teeth may result in the exposure of dentin. Tooth decay, cavities, periodontal (gum) disease, or even grinding your teeth may also contribute.
Considering the possible causes of tooth sensitivity, the dentist is your greatest defense against the prolonged effects of tooth sensitivity. Thus, if it’s been awhile since you’ve visited your dentist, it’s important to schedule an appointment.
Often, tooth sensitivity is a direct result of improper brushing and overall oral hygiene. Dentists provide invaluable insight into healthy brushing habits and simple remedies for managing tooth sensitivity. Depending on the severity of your discomfort, in-office fluoride gel or special toothpaste may be all that you need. For some, replacing a broken-down filling or repairing a chipped tooth may help.
Whatever the case, Frederick Dental is committed to helping you achieve optimal oral health. We believe that patient education is a vital part of this. With care and compassion, we aim to “coach” and encourage you in maintaining a healthy mouth for years to come. Are you in pain today from your sensitive teeth? Do not wait. Dr. Christopher Frederick and the team at Frederick Dental welcome your call.