It’s not uncommon to experience tooth sensitivity from time to time. Especially, if you’ve been eating sugary foods. But you should call our office if you have sensitive teeth for more than a few days as this could be a sign of a more serious problem.
During your appointment, our dentists will be able to examine the inside of your mouth and take X-rays to determine what’s causing the sensitivity. From there, they’ll be able to recommend the best course of treatment to help you regain your oral health.
Here are some of the most common reasons why patients experience sensitive teeth.
Worn Tooth Enamel
Enamel is the white outer layer of your teeth that protects the more sensitive layer of dentin beneath. Dentin consists of microscopic tubes that allow heat and cold to travel to the tooth’s nerve. This is why it’s important that you practice good oral hygiene to protect your enamel. Once you lose your enamel, it’s gone for good.
There are many reasons for worn tooth enamel. For example, some patients may unconsciously grind or clench their teeth at night due to a condition called bruxism. Over time, the pressure they exert on their teeth wears away the enamel. In fact, one of the main symptoms of bruxism is worn enamel and sensitive teeth.
Also, keep in mind that diet plays a huge role in your health and wellbeing. If you’ve been consuming a lot of sugary foods and drinks lately, you may experience more sensitivity. This is because the bacteria inside your mouth love to feed on sugar and produce an acid that erodes your enamel and attacks your gums. Both of these effects will make your teeth feel more sensitive in the long run.
It’s vital that you practice good oral hygiene at home. This means brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day to remove plaque. If you don’t remove plaque, it can build up over time and lead to gum disease.
Acid attacks from plaque will affect your gums in the long run, making them recede and exposing the tooth roots. This is why patients who have gum disease also report having sensitive teeth.
If you have sore, bleeding gums it’s possible that you may have gum disease. If this is the case, please call our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Our dentists will be able to examine the inside of your mouth and determine your next steps.
The bacteria in dental plaque will erode your enamel over time. That’s why it’s important to call our office at the first sign of dental pain. The longer you wait, the more likely you would need more intensive treatment to restore the tooth. For example, our dentists can repair a small cavity with a filling. But you may need a root canal if the cavity penetrates the pulp (living tissue) inside your tooth.
If your teeth are sensitive all of a sudden, it could be because of untreated tooth decay. Please call our office to schedule an appointment.
Playing a contact sport increases your risk of getting hit in the mouth. For this reason, we recommend that athletes wear a mouth guard to protect their teeth, gums, and other oral structures while they play.
A mouth guard is an oral appliance that fits over your upper teeth. In the event of a collision, the mouth guard absorbs some of the impact. This helps to protect your teeth and gums so you can avoid a dental emergency.
Keep in mind that not all fractures to the teeth are visible to the naked eye. It’s entirely possible that your tooth may have a tiny crack that is causing sensitivity. Either way, our dentists won’t be able to help you until you schedule an appointment with our office.
Many dental offices still use amalgam fillings to repair decayed teeth. The problem is that amalgam fillings tend to expand and contract slightly with temperature fluctuations, especially when they start to get worn. This means that every time you sip a cup of piping hot coffee, the amalgam filling in your mouth could be moving.
Every time your amalgam filling moves, bacteria could enter the inside of your tooth. For this reason, some patients develop what are called “secondary cavities,” which form along the edges of fillings.
If your filling is about 10 to 15 years old, our dentists may recommend replacing it. We offer white composite fillings that are not vulnerable to temperature fluctuations.
You may have sensitive teeth due to worn tooth enamel, gum disease, cavities, fractured teeth, or worn fillings. Whatever the reason, you’ll need to schedule an emergency appointment with our office if the pain persists. This is because tooth sensitivity is often a sign of a larger underlying problem with your oral health.
Also, make sure that you continue to take care of your teeth and gums. Not only should you practice good oral hygiene at home but you should see our dentists at least every 6 months for your routine teeth cleaning and oral examination.
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