Tooth Sensitivity is not a laughing matter
It is 6 o’clock on a Saturday night and you have just sat down to dinner. You take a bite of some hot dish and your teeth quickly tell you they are not happy. The same thing happens when you swish down a cold beverage.
Does this mean there is something seriously wrong with your mouth? The answer is maybe or maybe not. Most likely, you are suffering from tooth sensitivity. The good news is there is something you can do about it.
Before talking more about that, let us explore what causes tooth sensitivity in the first place. According to bestdentistnews.com and the American Dental Association, it occurs when the gums recede, exposing tooth roots.
When something hot or cold meets those roots, the sensation is passed through tubules in the roots directly to the tooth nerve resulting in pain.
Why do gums recede? Here are five reasons:
- Age – While this can happen at any age, research shows it is most common for people between ages 25 and 30.
- Brushing Technique – Brushing incorrectly can wear down enamel surrounding your teeth which can expose the sensitive dentin underneath. It also can harm the soft gum tissue which can cause tooth roots to become exposed.
- Bruxism – we discussed this last month but for those of you who missed it, this is the medical term for common tooth grinding. Too much of this can cause hairline fractures which make teeth more susceptible to hot and cold sensitivity. Grinding also can negatively affect the protective tooth enamel barrier.
- Cracked Teeth – Bacteria can creep inside cracked teeth where it can irritate the interior pulp which can result in sensitivity.
- Gum Disease – Bacteria and plaque that have built up near the teeth and gums not only can directly cause basic disease, they can mean losing gum tissue. This exposes tooth roots making them vulnerable to outside stimuli.
So what can you do to present tooth sensitivity? Plenty starting with these tips from Best Dentist News and the American Dental Association:
- Use a toothpaste specially formulated for tooth sensivity.
- Use a fluoride rinse after brushing and flossing.
- Visit your dentist.
If you are having problems with tooth sensitivity and over-the-counter products are not helping, we would be happy to talk to you about it. After thoroughly discussing your situation, we may suggest applying a fluoride gel or special desensitizing agents. Other treatments such a filling, crown, inlay, or bonding to correct decay or a flaw may be offered.
If gum tissue has been lost, we may recommend a surgical gum graft to cover the root, protect the teeth and reduce the sensibility. In only the most severe cases, a root canal may be required to solve the problem.
The best way to ensure the problem does not persist so long it becomes severe is to schedule regular visits with your dentist. We would be happy to serve as your dental partner to help you solve your tooth sensitivity early so you can live pain-free.
Remember that your mouth is more than just about a beautiful smile, it is about your wellness. We invite you to visit our website www.FlowerMoundsmiles.com to learn more.
Join us hear again next month when we discuss ????.