For most, ice cream and coffee are worth getting excited about. However, while these indulgences are highly favored, they can also be a source of serious discomfort for those who suffer from dental sensitivity. There’s nothing worse than taking that first sip of morning coffee or that slow bite of ice cream in the evening, only to be met by wincing tooth pain. If you suffer from teeth sensitivity, it can really put a damper on your enjoyment of hot and cold beverages and drinks. When extreme temperatures are too much for your teeth to handle, it is a signal that something needs to be addressed within your oral health.
Reasons for Dental Sensitivity
There are several reasons for sensitive teeth, which also means there are several treatment options. Sometimes it is as easy as changing your brushing habits, or easing up on the pressure of your brush. Other times, it is a symptom that the tooth is infected or decayed. In such cases, a root canal may be needed to remove the infected pulp and relieve your pain.
Sensitive teeth can be caused by the following:
- Enamel erosion (due to aggressive brushing habits, acidic drinks, etc)
- Root exposure/ receding gums (due to gum disease or the natural aging process)
- Decay or infection
- Tooth damage (chip, break or crack)
Do You Have Enamel Erosion?
One of the most common yet less obvious causes of sensitivity is enamel erosion, or when the enamel becomes weakened or eroded. Your enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth. It is made of the strongest substance in your entire body. However, it can still break down under certain circumstances. When the enamel erodes or thins, the inner layers of the tooth are more exposed. The dentin layer of your tooth is softer and contains tiny pathways to the inner portion of the tooth where the nerves reside. Therefore, if hot or cold substances are hitting your dentin layer, you may feel immediate pain because the nerves are affected too. Drinking acidic drinks is a common culprit of enamel erosion. It is a good idea to check the pH of your favorite beverage if you are suffering from disruptive tooth pain.
At the office of Dr. Mitzi Morris, we have a full menu of treatment options for sensitive teeth. Depending on the cause, we may recommend a filling, chipped tooth repair, periodontal therapy or bonding. In some cases, a fluoride application to the affected tooth or teeth can help strengthen the tooth enamel and desensitize the area. We can also recommend certain toothpastes for sensitive teeth.
You don’t have to avoid hot soup or cover your mouth on a cold windy day, talk to us about your sensitive teeth. We want all patients to have a healthy and comfortable smile.
Posted on the behalf of Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC