When you bite into a cold or sweet food and feel a jolt of pain, this can be excruciating. It is also abnormal and known as tooth sensitivity. This can occur for a number of reasons: either a sign of damaged dental structure or a symptom of a larger dental problem.
Though this may be intermittent, you should not dismiss it. It may point to a problem that requires urgent dental care. Call your dentist about this problem and seek help to get rid of this discomfort. Read on to find responses to frequently asked questions regarding tooth sensitivity.
Tooth Sensitivity FAQs
Why Do I Feel Tooth Sensitivity Pain?
Tooth sensitivity occurs if you suffer erosion or other damage to your enamel, the outer layer of the tooth. Dentin, the interior of your tooth, contains nerves that will send pain signals to your brain if stimulated by an external agent. This pain is tooth sensitivity and occurs when enamel weakens, leaving dentin vulnerable to outside threats.
Enamel may wear down due to factors outside of your control, like aging or medication side effects. It can also happen due to poor oral hygiene, worn dental fixtures, or tooth decay. Your dentist can help determine the cause of the issue and therefore the appropriate treatment to resolve it.
How Can My Dentist Treat Tooth Sensitivity?
The treatment for tooth sensitivity will depend on the reason for the symptom. Mild cases might be resolved by using a desensitizing toothpaste. This product uses ingredients that block nerves from transmitting pain signals so that you will no longer feel sensitivity.
Enamel will never regrow, but a dentist can replace lost enamel to help a patient relieve tooth sensitivity. The dentist can use a dental crown to do this, a ceramic cap that fits over a vulnerable tooth, sealing into place with dental cement for lasting, strong protection.
Dental problems like cavities may also lead a patient to feel tooth sensitivity. A dentist can treat a cavity, drilling away the decay and restoring the tooth with a filling. Then the tooth sensitivity will go away too.
Can I Prevent Tooth Sensitivity?
You can reduce your risk of tooth sensitivity by protecting the structure of your teeth. The best way to do this is to practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice each day at least and floss daily.
This removes plaque before it can eat away at your enamel and leave the nerves in dentin exposed. You should also ask your dentist to help you stop grinding and clenching your teeth, as this habit will start to damage your enamel too. This behavior will also put you at risk of harming your existing dental work, which may result in tooth sensitivity too.
Visit your dentist for routine preventative dental care too. This ensures that the dentist can catch early signs of dental problems that may lead to tooth sensitivity before they can cause lasting damage.