Tooth sensitivity affects millions of people. Its symptoms may be mild, only flaring up on occasion to more frequent sensitivity that could be described as a nagging, dull pain. The causes of tooth sensitivity are varied and treating sensitive teeth depends on the underlying source of the symptom.
While tooth sensitivity is uncomfortable and annoying, you don’t have to suffer. There are various ways that your symptoms can be diminished or eliminated. If you experience tooth sensitivity, we recommend that you schedule a dental checkup with our dentist to help you determine the cause of sensitive teeth and how best to improve your quality of life and oral health.
What causes tooth sensitivity?
There are many underlying causes behind tooth sensitivity and many of these causes are treatable. When a patient experiences tooth pain, it is normally because the dentin (tooth structure below the enamel surface) is exposed to irritants like acid and bacteria. Dentin exposure commonly happens just below the gum line. This is because the roots of teeth do not have tooth enamel. When the gums recede, the sensitive underlying structure of teeth is exposed. Dentin is made up of microscopic tubules that reach the innermost areas of a tooth where the nerves end. If the gums are damaged or recede away from teeth, more dentin is exposed and therefore increases the risk for tooth sensitivity.
What can be done to reduce painful symptoms?
While it is important to have a dental checkup to make sure that your oral health is in good standing, there are some ways you can reduce tooth pain through oral hygiene and lifestyle changes. First and foremost, it is important that you commit to thorough oral hygiene practices to reduce plaque and tartar buildup (both of these substances irritate oral structures and contribute to gum recession). Secondly, reduce your intake of acidic food. Acid wears down tooth enamel, thus making teeth more susceptible to sensitivity.
Beyond oral hygiene and lifestyle changes, some patients may require restorative dentistry procedures to protect the inner structures of teeth from irritants and further damage.
To schedule a checkup with our dental team, contact the office of Dr. Amy M. Durisin at 714-543-1170.