Tooth Sensitivity: What Is It, What Are the Causes, and What Is the Treatment?

Tooth Sensitivity: What Is It, What Are the Causes, and What Is the Treatment?

Nov 01, 2020

Do you experience sharp pain whenever you indulge in hot or cold foods? If this describes you, then you have tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity can prevent you from enjoying your favorite meal or drink since the pain can be debilitating.

Tooth sensitivity never occurs overnight; it takes time before you start experiencing pain because the surface of your enamel gradually wears off. This means that tooth sensitivity is a warning sign that you need to take seriously. Our endodontist in Concord, NH, can help determine the root cause so that we can get it taken care of.

By now, you must be wondering what causes tooth sensitivity and how you can get rid of it. If this is the case, then read on.

Tooth Sensitivity 101

If you experience a jolt of pain from exposing your teeth to cold air, drinks, or foods that are sweet or sour or hot or cold, then you have tooth sensitivity. However, if you are experiencing more chronic and severe pain, you should get it checked by our Concord endodontist since this could be a different issue.

You might also experience sensitive gums when they recede, and the dentin (inner part of your teeth) gets less protection. Sensitive teeth might not necessarily show, however sensitive gums will look red and may occasionally bleed. Sensitive gums might not be as painful as sensitive teeth.

How Does Tooth Sensitivity Happen?

Typically, dentinal hypersensitivity (tooth sensitivity) occurs when your teeth’s inner layer (dentin) is exposed. This is the softer part of the teeth that is usually protected by the enamel. Underneath the gumline, the dentin is not covered by the enamel. Meaning, the gums take on the protective role. So, when the gums recede, the dentin becomes exposed and the tubules (microscopic pores) that lead to the nerves are also exposed. Therefore, any hot or cold substance ingested can cause you to feel that pain.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity

A myriad of things can cause tooth sensitivity, and seeking advice from our endodontist in Concord, NH, can help you resolve the issue. Here are some of the causes of tooth sensitivity:

  • Teeth Whitening

Having a brilliantly white smile is a huge confidence booster. However, you should not overdo it. One of the side effects of teeth whitening is tooth sensitivity. You can also inform our dentist during such procedures that you have sensitive teeth so that you can get teeth whitening designed for sensitive teeth.

  • Irregular Flossing

It is essential to floss every day since flossing helps remove food debris that cannot be removed by brushing your teeth. You should bear in mind that 80 percent of sensitivity emanates from the gums.

  • Gum Disease

Gum disease can cause you to have sensitive teeth because receding gums can expose your tooth roots.

  • Tooth Decay

At times, sensitive teeth can be a sign that you have cavities. A cavity is a hole in the tooth that can cause your teeth’s inner part to be exposed.

  • Damaged Tooth Enamel

Your tooth enamel can wear off as you grow older. However, there are other factors such as exposure to acidic foods or brushing too hard with a hard-bristled brush. If your enamel is damaged, it can expose the dentin.

  • Teeth Grinding

Do you have a habit of grinding your teeth? This can damage your enamel and make your teeth more susceptible to sensitivity.

What Treatment Options Are Available?

There are two ways to go about tooth sensitivity:

  • Self-care

If you know the underlying cause, then you can proceed with self-care. You should practice proper brushing techniques to remove plaque from your teeth and gums. We recommend investing in an electric or soft toothbrush to help keep the enamel intact.

Brush your teeth using fluoride toothpaste twice every day to strengthen the enamel. Also, our dentist may prescribe toothpaste for sensitive teeth to manage the symptoms.

Do not brush your teeth immediately after eating; wait for 30 minutes before doing so.

Avoiding highly acidic foods and drinks can also help to ease the symptoms.

  • Professional Treatment

If the sensitivity persists, then you should consult with a dental professional.

If the sensitivity is due to a dental cavity, then seeking root canal treatment in Concord, NH, is the right way to go. We also have microscope-assisted endodontics in Concord, NH, to aid with treatment since there are details that aren’t clear to the naked eye.

If you have a cracked tooth, then a restorative option may be appropriate to cover the crack.

What Can We Do?

Only an endodontist is qualified to deal with tooth pain. If you have sensitive teeth, our Concord endodontist can diagnose your situation and find the right treatment. You can contact our dentist at Concord Dental Associates if you experience symptoms of tooth sensitivity.

Our dental office in Concord, NH also welcome patients from the below given nearby areas

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