Feeling sensitive towards hot and cold items from time to time is normal; in fact, a large majority of adults at some point in their lives develop tooth sensitivity. If your tooth sensitivity goes after a mild treatment then there’s nothing to worry about, however, if the sensitivity persists and your teeth start hurting after every meal, then you need to take it seriously.
What is tooth sensitivity and why does it occur?
The outer hard part of the tooth is called enamel and it serves as a protective barrier for your teeth. Your teeth are held firmly by the root on your gum line by cementum that anchors the teeth. Beneath enamel and cementum, there is a soft pulp called dentin that is surrounded by nerves. Both enamel and cementum protect the dentin and save your teeth from any harm. They are composed of hardened minerals and the enamel has the ability to reform over time. As strong as enamel and cementum are, they are prone to damage and once they are damaged they expose the dentin. Tooth sensitivity occurs when the enamel becomes porous and starts wearing off and the cementum starts to lose its grip. Because of the damaged enamel and cementum, the food starts to seep in your teeth, hurting the dentin and causing severe pain. In extreme cases, not only the hot and the cold foot items bother you, but any food that you consume, especially sugary foods, start hurting your teeth.Maintaining a healthy diet, especially one that is high in calcium, and practicing good oral hygiene will aid in the healing of the enamel covering dentin. Visit Our Bellaire Dentist Today!
What causes tooth sensitivity?
Enamel erosion and cementum weakening mainly occur due to various food items. If you consume a lot of acidic and sugary foods, then your enamel will badly suffer. Drinking alcohol, a lot of coffee and tea, smoking and some medicines may also damage the enamel and the dentin. Another cause of enamel erosion might be exposure to external harsh treatments such as: brushing your teeth vigorously, using harmful bleaching agents, cheap over the counter whitening toothpastes, flossing harshly and using alcohol based strong mouthwashes. An external trauma, a tooth injury or a fracture may also make your dentin vulnerable and tear away the enamel.
The cause of tooth sensitivity might not always be external. Sometimes, it is a result of an underlying tooth infection. Periodontal or gum diseases also cause the enamel and the cementum to break. Overall, most of these problems are linked to a bad oral hygiene and accumulation of plaque over a period of time.
Treatment of tooth sensitivity:
The first step towards treating sensitive teeth is to find out the root cause for it. You first need to keep a check on the kind of food items that you consume. If you drink alcohol or a lot of coffee or tea, you need to cut down on these beverages. Moreover, if you are a smoker, you need to reduce your smoking habit. Maintaining proper oral hygiene routine and eating healthy foods, particularly the ones that are rich in calcium will help rebuilding the enamel that protecting the dentin. Also, keep away from harmful oral products and treat your teeth gently.
If, however, your teeth still remain sensitive despite taking care of your oral hygiene, then you must visit your Rensselaer dentist immediately. Our dentists will first diagnose the problem and give you the treatment accordingly. If your tooth is infected or you have a periodontal disease, you will first be prescribed a dose of antibiotics. If the tooth is extremely damaged then you might be given a root canal or tooth extraction procedure. Once the root cause is dealt with, you will be given supplements to initiate the process of enamel restoration.