Have you ever bitten into a food and felt a sharp jolt of pain? This uncomfortable sensation is known as tooth sensitivity. Though intermittent, fading after the initial stab of pain, it can feel excruciating. It may cause you to alter your eating habits.
If you do feel tooth sensitivity, you should not ignore it. It might be a symptom of a larger dental problem. Even so, you should not suffer through the discomfort of tooth pain of any kind.
Knowing more about this specific dental condition can encourage you to seek evaluation and treatment from your dentist. Read on to find responses to frequently asked questions regarding tooth sensitivity.
Tooth Sensitivity FAQs
Why Do My Teeth Feel Sensitive?
Your teeth feature a layer of enamel, the outer shell, which covers dentin. Though durable, enamel might wear down over time for a number of reasons. Once gone, enamel does not regrow, and this can leave dentin exposed to external threats.
If external elements like food touch dentin, it can stimulate the nerves there to transmit pain signals to the brain. The resulting pain is tooth sensitivity. Once the stimulus is gone, the pain stops, hence why the pain feels like it comes and goes.
Not only does tooth sensitivity feel uncomfortable, but it points to structural damage in the teeth. Enamel erosion will leave your teeth more vulnerable to other dental dangers like cavities too, so you should not ignore the issue. Call your dentist for an emergency dental evaluation.
How Will My Dentist Treat Tooth Sensitivity?
Treatment for tooth sensitivity will depend on the cause of the enamel damage. Mild cases of enamel erosion might be resolved by using desensitizing toothpaste. This type of toothpaste contains ingredients that block exposed nerves in dentin from sending pain signals that trigger tooth sensitivity.
A dentist might also replace weakened enamel with restorative dental solutions like a dental crown. This ceramic cap will cover the entire tooth, creating a shield that reinforces thinned enamel. Dental cement ensures the crown stays in place, providing long-lasting protection that will also relieve tooth sensitivity.
Dental problems like cavities might also cause sensitivity pain. Your dentist can treat a cavity or another underlying dental issue, and this will also get rid of tooth sensitivity.
Can I Prevent Tooth Sensitivity?
In some cases, tooth enamel may wear down due to aging or other factors outside your control. But you can best protect your dental structure by practicing good oral hygiene. This lowers your risk of cavities, an early form of tooth decay that will damage your teeth.
Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day at least and floss daily. You should also schedule routine teeth cleanings at your dentist’s office to maximize preventative dental care.
Acidic foods and beverages, including sugary items, can also contribute to enamel erosion. So you may want to limit these foods in your diet to better preserve your smile.