Tooth Sensitivity and Why You Shouldn’t Ignore It

Does it hurt when you eat or drink something hot or cold? Tooth sensitivity is a common problem and can affect just one or several teeth. It may produce a sharp pain that reaches deep into the nerve endings of your teeth and even breathing in very cold air can be enough to set it off.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

tooth sensitivitySensitive teeth can be caused by a number of different things. One common reason is due to gum recession as when the gums pull back from the teeth they begin to expose the tooth roots. Unlike the crown of your tooth which is the part normally exposed in your mouth, tooth roots are not covered in tough tooth enamel but instead have a thin layer of a substance called cementum protecting them. Cementum is soon worn away by regular brushing, exposing the softer layer of dentine underneath. Dentine contains thousands of tiny tubules that lead directly to the inner part of the tooth containing the nerves and which is called the pulp. When hot and cold foods or even cold air access the pulp it can trigger sensitivity resulting in pain.

Dentine can also become exposed due to a number of other reasons which include tooth decay, particularly when it is right near the gum line and general wear and tear as using a very hard bristled toothbrush or grinding your teeth will wear away tooth enamel. If you whiten your teeth without the supervision of a dentist then you are more at risk of ending up with sensitive teeth. Acidic foods can also eat away at your tooth enamel, exposing the dentine underneath. Sometimes even something as simple as having a professional tooth cleaning at Clarence House Dental Care or having dental work carried out such as a new crown or filling can be enough to trigger sensitivity. In this case tooth sensitivity should quickly subside within a few weeks.

How We Can Help

The good news is that a visit to your Watton dentist can help sort out this problem. By examining your teeth, we can determine if your tooth sensitivity is being caused by any untreated dental problems such as tooth decay or gum disease that is caused gum recession. We can also talk to you about the best way to reduce tooth sensitivity as using proper brushing techniques will help ensure your teeth thoroughly clean without causing them any damage. If we think your diet is to blame, then we can suggest ways to improve it and perhaps make it less acidic. Citrus fruits, tea and tomatoes and pickles can all wear down teeth. If you grind your teeth then we can also provide you with a mouth guard to protect them at night.

After seeing our dentist in Watton to make sure your tooth sensitivity isn’t caused by any dental problems you may find it useful to begin using toothpaste especially designed to lessen tooth sensitivity. This works by gradually filling in the tubules leading directly to the pulp in your tooth, reducing any reaction to hot or cold. You do need to use this toothpaste for several weeks as the effects are cumulative and you will need to continue using it to maintain its results.

There is no need to put up with tooth sensitivity so if you have this problem, make an appointment to come and see our Watton dentist. Call us today on 01953 882777.