Although it is a very common condition, tooth sensitivity can cause significant discomfort and even impact your quality of life. If you wince at the thought of eating ice cream or even cover your mouth to prevent a cold wind from stinging your teeth, you need to talk to your dentist about your concerns. Teeth sensitivity can be caused by a number of factors, and some are easily corrected. If hot or cold foods and drinks are causing you tooth pain, ask yourself the following questions in order to get to the root of your problem:
Your mouth needs saliva to neutralize the harmful acids that can erode your tooth enamel. Your enamel is what protects your teeth. When this layer is compromised, tooth pain or sensitivity results. A dry mouth can be improved by chewing sugar-free gum, using a dry mouth rinse or other dentist recommendations.
Gum recession, whether it occurs from age, gum disease or other factors, can be what is causing your tooth sensitivity. When gums recede, the tooth roots and nerves are more exposed, which can make it painful to endure extreme temperatures.
To avoid tooth sensitivity caused by enamel abrasion and gum recession, you may need to lighten up on your tooth brushing efforts. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush can help significantly.
Sensitivity caused by tooth damage can be a direct consequence from teeth grinding, or bruxism. Talk to your doctor about a custom nighttime mouthguard to protect your smile.
These are just a few of the questions that may help you diagnose the source of your tooth sensitivity. Your dentist may recommend tooth bonding to cover up exposed roots or a specialized toothpaste for sensitivity. Such toothpastes contain potassium nitrates, which is an active ingredient that blocks tiny channels in your teeth that transmit nerve pain. As a last resort, a root canal may be needed. In these cases, the tooth nerves are infected or severely decayed and must be treated to bring you out of pain. At Grateful Dental, we offer a full range of dental services – ensuring your smile stays comfortable and highly functional at all times. If you have tooth sensitivity, let us know!