Tooth sensitivity can make it a literal pain to enjoy your favorite hot and cold foods. The sensitivity tends to creep on at first until you are unable to even get close to those previously coveted snacks.
When things like ice cream and hot soup send you running for the hills, it is definitely past time to get a dentist involved. With help from your trusted dental professionals, you can banish tooth sensitivity for good and enjoy all your favorite foods once again.
To help you overcome this problem, here’s all you need to know about tooth sensitivity and how dentists can treat it.
Above the gumline, enamel acts as a shield for your teeth, while cementum does the same below. When these shields suffer damage or wear away, hot and cold substances can come into direct contact with the dentin inside. This causes a jolt of sensitivity as the nerves react to the sudden onslaught.
The causes of tooth sensitivity are many with most working together to trigger this problem. Here are just a few ways this issue gets its start.
Brushing too often, too hard, or for too long can quickly scrub away the enamel surface on your teeth. Plus, a lack of daily brushing and flossing can also wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. Thankfully, you can easily toe the line by using an electric toothbrush just twice a day and with the lightest touch possible.
With each sip of soda, the acidic compounds steadily wear away at the enamel on your teeth. From citrus fruit to tomato sauce, many other acidic foods are to blame as well. You don’t have to skip them altogether, however, simply aim to limit how much you consume and rinse your mouth out afterward.
Whether it occurs during the day or at night, when you grind your teeth, the enamel steadily wears away. You can work on decreasing your clenching and grinding during the day, but you may need a nightguard from your dentist for nighttime occurrences.
Gum disease and recession reveal more of the cementum to the elements, accelerating its wear in all exposed areas. Your dentist can help you optimize your oral care routines and treat these problems as needed to protect your teeth and gums.
The buildup of plaque often results in decay that wipes out the enamel layer of your teeth. Flossing every day and going to all your professional teeth cleaning appointments can go a long way in preventing plaque and decay.
As many different things cause the enamel and cementum to disappear, true vigilance is required to prevent tooth sensitivity. In many cases, it is impossible to fully prevent, necessitating treatment instead to keep sensitivity levels down.
When tooth sensitivity gets you down, you can turn to your dentist for support. They are well-versed in all the different treatment methods available. Here are some they might help you try.
Depending on your sensitivity levels, your dentist might suggest trying a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. The sensitive toothpaste contains helpful compounds that block the pathways through the dentin. This keeps hot and cold substances from entering those pathways and irritating the nerves.
You might also benefit from the application of fluoride on your teeth. This helpful substance jumpstarts your body’s natural enamel repair process, helping strengthen the surface of your teeth. The application process is easy, too. Your dentist simply paints the fluoride gel on your teeth.
If extreme wear or damage is the cause of your tooth sensitivity, your dentist may need to repair those problems to ease your discomfort. There are many dental restoration procedures that will help. It all depends on the needs of your teeth and gums. If gum disease is identified as the cause, you may need a tissue graft, while a severely decayed tooth may need a root canal and crown.
No matter the cause, or your preferred treatments, you do not need to live with tooth sensitivity for a moment longer. Contact our team at Matthews Family Dentistry with a call to 704-708-9185 to receive the care you need.