It’s unmistakable. That sharp zing when you take a sip of cold water or hot coffee, even if you indulge in something sweet… those of you who know, know.
Tooth sensitivity is a tyrant. In order to help you put an end to the pain of tooth sensitivity, we’ve compiled a list of the common culprits that cause it.
Tooth sensitivity 101: what’s causing the pain in my teeth?
You’ve probably heard the expression, “Misery loves company,” and while it might not bring you much comfort, the point here is that tooth sensitivity is a painful experience shared by many.
Tooth sensitivity, also known as dentin hypersensitivity, is characterized by a sharp, temporary pain when your teeth are exposed to certain stimuli, such as the following most common culprits:
Dentin is the layer beneath the enamel that contains tiny tubules. These are exactly what they sound like… tiny tubes! When the enamel is eroded or the gum line recedes, dentin can become exposed, leading to sensitivity.
Cracked teeth or tooth fractures
People with cracked teeth can experience tooth sensitivity because the cracks expose the inner layers of the tooth, which is just as painful as it sounds. Certainly any trauma or injury to a tooth can also result in fractures that expose sensitive inner layers.
Considering the fact that a cavity is essentially just a hole in your tooth, which exposes the inner layers, it’s no wonder that tooth decay can cause serious discomfort and sensitivity, especially to temperature and pressure.
When your gums recede, the root surface of the tooth becomes exposed. Since this area is less protected it’s naturally more prone to sensitivity.
Enamel can be worn away by acidic foods and drinks, vigorous brushing, or teeth grinding. Thin enamel is susceptible to sensitivity, which is why some people opt to brush with toothpastes that purport to protect enamel.
Believe it or not, some teeth whitening products can cause temporary sensitivity as a side effect. The pursuit of a brighter smile can result in a more sensitive one.
Tooth decay left unchecked can develop into harder to clean plaque buildup and, unless treated by a dental professional, that buildup can quickly result in gum recession leaving that root surface exposed making your teeth — you guessed it — more sensitive.
The good old aging process
Nevermind vigorous brushing, acidic food and drinks or tooth decay. Sometimes you can do everything right and still, as you age, your enamel is prone to thin; therefore, prone to painful sensitivity.
Some dental treatments, such as cleanings, root planing, and orthodontic adjustments, can lead to temporary sensitivity, but this should resolve soon after the procedure is complete.
What you really need to know about tooth sensitivity is that you needn’t suffer. Our team is standing by to diagnose the cause and provide solutions to keep you smiling, pain-free!
Contact us today to schedule your appointment!