Those who are unable to enjoy hot or cold foods know all-too-well the agony of sensitive teeth. It's only natural for sufferers to wonder why it's happening and what could be done about it. To find out more about this common but annoying condition, read on.
Why Do You Have Sensitive Teeth?
To understand why sensitive teeth happen, it might be helpful to visualize what lies beneath the pearly enamel on the outside of your tooth. Under the enamel is the cementum. This layer protects your roots. The final layer is the dentin and that is an area that can fall short in sensitive teeth sufferers. When the dentin is damaged by some of the below problems, you can be subject to pain when coming into contact with extremes in temperatures — either very hot or very cold foods and drinks. Any time a crack or opening occurs in a tooth, the root can be exposed to air, food, and drinks. In addition, those with sensitive teeth might also be vulnerable to almost anything that comes into contact with the teeth, including toothbrushes, dental floss, and having professional cleanings. That, unfortunately, can lead to some of the below conditions that can only exacerbate the problem.
- Cavities and cracked teeth.
- Filled teeth with insufficient fillings that need to be replaced.
- Gum disease.
- Erosion caused by acidic foods and drinks.
- Gums that are receding. As the gum line recedes, the root can be exposed.
How to Cope With Sensitive Teeth
Fortunately, you don't have to live with sensitive teeth. Your first move should be to ask your dentist to determine what might be causing the issue. For example, a close look using an X-ray might turn up a small, almost invisible cavity. Even a single sensitive tooth can make your entire mouth hurt. Once cavities are dealt with using fillings, crowns, or root canals, your dentist will look for receding gums. That can be remedied by a gum graft. Once any gum or teeth issues are ruled out, your dentist might suggest gel treatments and special toothpaste that help to reduce sensitivity. These types of toothpaste work gradually so give things a few weeks to get better. Gel treatments coat the teeth to make them more impervious to temperature extremes in foods.
Your dentist is sure to get to the root of the problem when sensitive teeth are bothering you. Don't just put up with this issue — speak with your dentist and find out how easily your sensitive teeth can be fixed for good.
For more information, contact a family dentistry clinic in your area.