Experiencing sensitive teeth when eating or drinking something cold, hot or sweet is not uncommon. In fact, the Academy of General Dentistry reports that approximately 40 million adults in the United States suffer from sensitive teeth. Schedule a visit with Young Family Dental to diagnose your symptoms and to learn ways to prevent tooth sensitivity.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Most often, teeth manifest symptoms of sensitivity because of worn down tooth enamel (or exposed tooth roots). But, tooth discomfort can come from other factors too:
- Worn tooth enamel
- Tooth decay (cavities)
- Fractured teeth
- Worn fillings
- Gum disease
- Exposed tooth root
Enamel helps to protect the crowns of your teeth. (The crowns refer to the part of your tooth that lies above the gum line.) Under the gum line, cementum shields the tooth root. Then, underneath both is the dentin of the tooth.
Enamel and cementum that is worn down exposes the dentin. Dentin has tiny tubules that can allow heat and cold to reach the nerves of your tooth when they aren’t protected by those outer layers. Receding gums can also expose your dentin more, resulting in tooth sensitivity.
What Are the Signs that You Need to See A Dentist?
It is always best to seek advice from a dentist when you experience unsual oral symptoms. Typically, if you continue to experience tooth sensitivity for more than three or four days, call Young Family Dental to schedule an appointment.
Tooth sensitivity can stem from a few different sources. Sometimes sinus pressure can even be the cause for upper teeth pain. Some patients can experience tooth sensitivity if they are using tartar-control toothpaste–the tooth sensitvity goes away after you stop using the toothpaste. But because cavities or unseen abscesses can also trigger tooth sensitivity, it is best to seek medical guidiance before trying to self-treat.
How Do You Treat Tooth Sensitivity?
Sensitive teeth can make eating or even drinking water painful. To help reduce your symptoms, first visit with a member of our Young Family Dental team so we can examine and diagnose what is going on. Depending on the results of this visit, the following may be prescribed:
- Toothpaste for sensitive teeth that works to block pain.
- A mouthguard to prevent tooth grinding (a symptom of which is tooth sensitivity)
- Fluoride treatments to strengthen tooth enamel.
- Cosmetic bonding to cover exposed root surfaces.
- A surgical gum graft (taking gum tissue from in your mouth and applying it to the effected area) can shield exposed roots and reduce sensitivity.
- A root canal procedure to remove the nerve, eliminating tooth sensitivity.
Not sure how to prevent tooth sensitivity from occurring? Contact a member of our Young Family Dental team today for a consulation.
Prevent Tooth Sensitivity with These Steps
You’ve heard it before, and we’ll say it again, but the best way to prevent most oral issues, including tooth sensitivity, is to brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride-fortified toothpaste. Floss at least once a day. Keep in mind that you can erode your gum tissue if you use a toothbrush that has hard bristles or if you brush too vigorously.
Consider your diet. If you find that you experience more sensitivity with certain drinks or foods, try avoiding those triggers to increase your comfort.
To learn more about keeping your gums healthy or to schedule a personal consultation with one of our dentists, call or visit any of our five Utah dental offices in West Jordan, Riverton, American Fork, Saratoga Springs or Orem. We’ll show you what dentures and partials can do for you.