Tooth sensitivity or dentin hypersensitivity is a common dental problem. The feeling of a short, sharp twinge of pain whenever you eat hot or cold foods is
symptom that you are experiencing this condition. Most sufferers are those between 20 and 50 years old. However, children can have tooth sensitivity as well.
In order to understand why this happens one must first understand the basic structure of a tooth!
The Anatomy Of A Tooth
The top of the tooth visible above the gum line is called the crown. The crown is covered in a thin layer of hard enamel. Underneath this enamel layer lays the dentin. The dentin consists
of a sensitive layer of living tissue and tubules that communicate with the nerves of your teeth.
Causes Of Sensitivity
When your gums recede or your enamel wears away is most often when tooth sensitivity occurs. This could be the result of teeth grinding, improper or lack of brushing, or even erosion from acid.
As described above, without enamel the dentin becomes exposed, and things that never hurt your teeth before now become painful. That is because the tubules are allowing things like the cold ice cream
or hot coffee to directly stimulate the nerve in your tooth, leading to the shooting pain sensations or tooth sensitivity.
Gum recession is another major cause of tooth sensitivity. Several causes such as overly frequent or aggressive brushing, gingivitis or periodontal disease, and even aging can contribute to gum recession.
As the gums recede, the underlying dentin can gradually be exposed over time. This can also lead to root exposure. Since teeth roots don’t have a protective layer of enamel, their main protective defense is
the gums. As the gums recede the root becomes exposed also leading to tooth sensitivity.
How You Can Protect Your Teeth
After discovering you have sensitive teeth be sure you talk to your dentist about what options you have to manage this condition. Your dentist can advise you on the best toothbrush to use for your case,
the best tooth brushing technique, as well as suggesting special toothpaste formulated to take care of sensitive teeth. Lastly, you can further protect your teeth by avoiding sugary or acidic food and drinks.
What Our Practice Can Do
Make sure we are your first stop if you begin to experience tooth sensitivity. Don’t delay, even if your next regular appointment is months away! Our office has options to strengthen your teeth using a
fluoride varnish, perform dental restoration work on areas with enamel loss, or even recommend a gum graft to cover any exposed roots. In addition, we will also make sure there are not any other problems
ailing your teeth.
Our main goal is to make your smile stay healthy and strong!
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.