Is it difficult for you to enjoy some of your favorite treats because of tooth pain? Do you dread that feeling that a hot cup of coffee or a bowl of ice cream makes you feel? Chances are that you are suffering from tooth sensitivity. As painful and frustrating as it may be, it is extremely common. About one in eight adults claim to have some level of tooth sensitivity related to temperature and certain textures. There are many different causes of this condition and several steps you can take to lessen these toothaches. Continue reading to learn more.
What Are My Teeth So Sensitive?
Sensitivity is caused when the layer of enamel that protects your teeth wears away and leaves the dentin underneath exposed. Because dentin contains sensitive nerves, when it is exposed to more extreme temperatures and textures from your food and beverages, you are likely to feel pain. Here are some ways that the dentin can become uncovered and leave you with tooth sensitivity:
- Tooth decay: If you have an untreated cavity, sensitivity is a likely indication.
- Vigorous brushing: If you are brushing your teeth too violently, then you can cause damage to both your gums and wear away the enamel of your teeth, therefore exposing the dentin.
- Wrong toothbrush: Using the wrong tools, like a hard-bristled toothbrush, can also irritate gum tissue and damage the protective layer of your teeth.
- Periodontal disease: Gum disease causes the gums to recede over time which exposes the root of the tooth. This causes sensitivity and pain.
- Bad eating habits: Consuming sugary and acidic foods and beverages, like coffee, soda, and citrus fruit, can soften your enamel, making it more likely to erode away.
- Teeth grinding (bruxism): If you grind your teeth during your sleep or in stressful situations, you can damage the chewing surface which will lead to sensitivity over time.
- Damaged restorations: A broken crown or filling could be exposing sensitive layers of your teeth to more extreme temperatures and food debris.
How Can I Reduce Tooth Sensitivity?
If you have new or worsening sensitivity, you should mention it to your dentist to ensure that there is nothing serious going on. After ruling out dental emergencies, here are some things you can try in order to lessen the pain:
- Sensitivity toothpaste: When you go to your local drug store, look for a toothpaste that is made for people with sensitive teeth. After 2-4 weeks, you’ll start noticing a difference!
- Soft-bristled toothbrush: Make sure you are using a toothbrush that is easy on the gum tissue and enamel.
- Eat tooth-healthy foods: Avoid acidic, sugary, and starchy foods that could damage your enamel.
As irritating as teeth sensitivity is, you don’t need to put up with it. Talk to your dentist about possible solutions. Together, you can get some relief.
About the Practice
At Dentistry at Suwanee, you have not just one, but two well experienced dentists providing many services, including emergency treatment, to patients. Dr. Katherine J. Lee earned her DMD from The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and completed her general practice residency at the Veterans Affair Hospital in Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Brian Y. Lee earned his DDS from The University of Michigan School of Dentistry and is dedicated to spending many of his weekends attending continuing education courses. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit their website or call (678) 381-2875.