The Signs And Symptoms Of Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth pain arises when the delicate nerves within our teeth become irritated, often due to the erosion of the protective enamel layer. Underneath the enamel lies the dentin, a less dense material housing the tooth’s nerve-filled pulp. Any breach in the enamel, whether through thinning or damage, exposes the dentin, leaving the nerve vulnerable to external stimuli. This vulnerability is often manifested as tooth sensitivity, a discomfort triggered by various practices or conditions that compromise enamel integrity.
Numerous factors contribute to enamel damage, including dietary habits such as consuming acidic foods and beverages, particularly before bedtime, which can accelerate enamel erosion. Additionally, neglecting routine dental care, such as regular flossing, can lead to plaque buildup and enamel deterioration. Aggressive brushing or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can also wear down enamel over time. Attempting to use professional dental tools at home without proper training can inadvertently damage enamel and increase sensitivity.
Various health issues, such as bulimia or acid reflux, expose teeth to stomach acid, which can erode enamel and heighten sensitivity. Untreated gum disease and gum recession can also contribute to enamel loss, exposing the sensitive dentin underneath. Furthermore, dental problems like damaged, cracked, or chipped teeth, as well as untreated cavities, pose a risk to enamel integrity and may exacerbate tooth sensitivity.
Lifestyle choices, such as using tobacco products, cannabis, or vaping, can also harm enamel and increase sensitivity. Additionally, habits like teeth grinding or clenching, often associated with stress, can wear down enamel and cause sensitivity. Overuse of certain teeth whitening products, especially those containing abrasive agents, can strip away enamel, leaving teeth more susceptible to sensitivity and damage.
In essence, maintaining strong enamel is crucial for protecting tooth nerves and preventing sensitivity. Implementing proper oral hygiene practices, addressing underlying dental issues promptly, and minimizing exposure to factors that can compromise enamel integrity are essential steps in preserving dental health and reducing tooth sensitivity.
What Can You Do About Sensitive Teeth?
The first and most important step to take after experiencing dental pain or discomfort is to see the dentist. We can rule out other possible underlying causes of your tooth pain and recommend treatments for any damage or decay detected during your appointment. With a formal diagnosis, you can feel confident that you’re moving in the right direction. Let’s break the whole process down:
Figure out the underlying cause
We won’t make any assumptions. During your examination, you will be asked to describe the sensitivity and how often it happens. You may require new X-rays and the dentist will closely examine your teeth and gums. Other diagnostic tests like the tap test or cold test may prove helpful in your diagnosis.
Treatment in the office
Teeth that are damaged or decayed can be treated with a number of restorative options from something as common as a filling to more complex procedures such as crowns. For worn down enamel, you may be able to treat it at home but there are also in-office treatments that may be available. We’ll discuss all of your options with you and you get the final say.
Contact us today
to schedule an initial consultation & exam.
Your consultation will include an examination of everything from your teeth, gums and soft tissues to the shape and condition of your bite. Generally, we want to see how your whole mouth looks and functions. Before we plan your treatment we want to know everything about the health and aesthetic of your smile, and, most importantly, what you want to achieve so we can help you get there.
Frequently Asked Questions
Desensitizing toothpaste can help alleviate tooth sensitivity by blocking the transmission of pain signals from the tooth surface to the nerves.
Dental sealants are typically used to protect teeth from decay, but they may also provide some relief for tooth sensitivity by sealing off exposed dentin.
Professional treatments for tooth sensitivity may include fluoride varnish applications, dental bonding to cover exposed dentin, and gum graft surgery for severe gum recession.
Individuals with tooth sensitivity may experience increased discomfort after teeth whitening treatments. It’s important to consult with a dentist before undergoing any whitening procedures.
Practicing good oral hygiene, avoiding acidic and sugary foods, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and attending regular dental check-ups can help prevent tooth sensitivity.
Yes, persistent tooth sensitivity may indicate an underlying dental issue that requires professional evaluation and treatment. It’s important to consult with a dentist to determine the cause of sensitivity and receive appropriate care.
I recently changed dental offices. Eastview Dental is now providing my dental care. I am relieved and thankful for the kindness and respect I’ve received so far from all staff.
Heather is a capable and thorough hygienist with a friendly and welcoming nature. She was happy to spend a few extra minutes to answer questions and offer suggestions. Thank you for great service in a well run dental office.
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Excellent, knowledgeable staff front to back. Dr.Kauldhar is one of the best dentists I’ve ever had. He will work with you to provide the best solution without trying to oversell any procedure or drain your pocketbook. His staff is friendly proficient and professional. I recommend Eastview as the best dental practice in Barrie.