If you find it uncomfortable or painful to enjoy your favorite hot or cold foods, you may have sensitive teeth. However, while temperature sensitivity can be inconvenient, it also signals that you likely have a condition that needs to be treated by a dental professional. If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, read on to discover a few of the potential causes and treatments.
Tooth decay is primarily caused by the plaque formed by bacteria that feed on sugar. Sensitive teeth are often a warning that tooth decay is occurring and a cavity is forming. If this may be the case, make an appointment with your dentist right away.
Worn Teeth Enamel
The outer layer of your teeth is the protective enamel layer. Unlike cavities, erosion isn’t formed by bacteria but by factors like acid reflux, alcohol consumption, excessive exposure to chlorine, and vomiting. The American Dental Association also notes that industrial and occupational risks can wear down tooth enamel and cause sensitive teeth.
Cracked Teeth or Loose Fillings
Chipped or cracked teeth can expose the nerves inside your tooth, which causes sensitivity to increase significantly. Additionally, if a filling becomes cracked, worn, or loose, it may no longer be effective in protecting nerves under former areas of tooth decay.
Gum Disease or Recession
Gum disease is a bacterial infection that can cause inflammation of your gums and increase tooth sensitivity. If left untreated, gum disease can also affect the tissue and bone that support your teeth and cause them to loosen or fall out.
Sensitive teeth can also indicate receding gums. If your gums recede, the protection of your roots wears away, which exposes the sensitive dentin layer. Gum recession can come from gum disease, harsh brushing, tobacco use, teeth grinding, and other dental issues.
In some cases, sensitive teeth may be the result of an infection deep in your tooth. If this is the case, your dentist will likely suggest a root canal.
How to Treat Sensitive Teeth
In some cases, tooth sensitivity can be reversed by practicing good oral hygiene. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing at least once, using a mouth rinse, and seeing your dentist regularly. Your dentist may even recommend toothpaste or mouth rinse made for sensitive teeth. However, if your sensitivity and pain are severe, you should see your dentist right away. They may recommend one of the following treatments:
- An inlay, bonding, or crown placement: If a tooth is fractured, damaged, or decaying, your dentist may repair it with one of these treatments.
- Application of a fluoride gel: Fluoride gel strengthens your enamel and reduces the number of pain signals sent to your brain.
- Root canal: Your dentist may perform a root canal to remove infected or inflamed tooth pulp in the center of the tooth. Then, they fill and seal the hole.
- Surgical gum graft: If you have recessed gums, a small amount of tissue from the roof of your mouth can be grafted onto your gum line.
If you have sensitive teeth that cause you discomfort and pain, the first step towards treating the problem is visiting your dentist. Once your dentist diagnoses the issue, you can start healing your teeth.
You Can Trust Olney Dental for All of Your Dental Care Needs
For all of your oral care questions and concerns, Olney Dental has the expertise and professionalism to get them the answers they need. Olney Dental is ready to supply you with expert service in a professional environment. Schedule an appointment online today! For more information on how we can give your family the best dentist experience available, give us a call at (301) 250-1057 or contact us online. For more dental tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.