DO YOU EVER cringe when you watch someone bite into ice cream? Are you sometimes fearful of that first sip of hot soup or drink of tea? You’re not alone. Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common complaints we hear about!
On the outside of each tooth is a protective layer of enamel. Over time, the enamel can wear away leaving an inner layer, called the dentin, exposed. This occurs due to normal wear and tear, poor dental hygiene or certain lifestyle choices.
Dentin contains fluid-filled tubules that reach into the innermost part of the tooth where all the nerves reside. Because the nerves inside the tooth are exposed when the enamel is eroded away, sensitivity is the result.
Another form of tooth sensitivity develops when gum recession leaves the root of the tooth exposed to food, drink and air.
Desensitizing toothpastes are a great way to ease tooth sensitivity. Many of our patients ask us how these toothpastes actually work! It’s simple: they are specially formulated to either block the tubules in the dentin, protecting the nerves in the tooth from exposure, or numb your teeth, in a manner of speaking, so you don’t register the pain of sensitivity.
It’s important to remember, however, that if your teeth are at all sensitive, your first stop should be your dentist’s office. Some problems that cause teeth to be sensitive can be quite serious and may require more extensive treatment than desensitizing toothpaste can provide.
Sensitive teeth can range from mildly annoying to severely painful. To prevent further damage to your teeth, or any sensitivity in the first place, follow the suggestions below:
No matter what your level of discomfort, it’s our belief that nobody should have to live with tooth pain. If you experience any kind of sensitivity in your teeth, come in and see us! We can diagnose the root cause of your sensitivity and ascertain the best way to treat it.
We are thankful for our wonderful patients!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Top image by Flickr user Lachlan Hardy used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.