What Does Sensitive Teeth Really Mean?
Did you know that according dentistry experts, as many as 40 million Americans deal with sensitive teeth at some point in time? Your teeth may not be perfect in appearance, but they should never hurt. Teeth sensitivity refers to the discomfort (often shooting pain) felt when your teeth are exposed to extreme temperatures. This could involve eating ice cream, drinking coffee or simply walking out into the cold winter air. It can even make brushing your teeth a dreaded experience.
The pain felt from temperature change is directly related to your tooth nerves, which signal to your brain that the tooth is not properly protected and could be in danger. Why would sensitive teeth be a warning sign that your tooth (or teeth) is in danger? It is helpful to understand the anatomy of the tooth first. Your teeth are composed of the following layers:
- Tooth Enamel – outermost layer that protects your teeth
- Cementum - protects your gums
- Dentin – a softer, less durable layer beneath enamel and cementum
When the above tooth structures or materials break down, the tooth center (where your nerves reside) is more exposed. The tooth center is where the tooth receives its vital supply of nutrients. If bacteria is allowed to penetrate the inner chambers of the tooth, the tooth becomes at risk for survival. Thus, the nerves send their obvious signals that something is wrong – which is felt as hypersensitivity.
There are many reasons for hypersensitivity within your smile, and most of them are easy to treat. Here are the most common culprits:
- Gum disease
- Cracked or damaged teeth
- Worn-out fillings
- Receding gums/exposed tooth root
Having to say no to ice cream with the family or drink lukewarm coffee in the mornings is no way to live. Don’t assume that your sensitivity teeth are just something you have to deal with for the rest of your life. Not only could it lead to serious oral health complications, but sensitive teeth can affect your quality of life. There are many general dentistry tools and cosmetic treatments that can effectively address your tooth sensitivity. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Morris today, and let us restore comfort to your smile.
Posted on the behalf of Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
Circle us on Google+
1295 Hembree Rd, Suite B202
Roswell, GA 30076
Phone: (770) 475-6767