Tooth sensitivity is definitely an annoying and debilitating problem to have. Tooth sensitivity causes sharp pain when ingesting certain foods such as oranges (due to the acidity) or ice cream (due to the cold temperature). But what causes tooth sensitivity and how do you treat it?
Causes of Teeth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity happens when nerves in the teeth are exposed. Teeth are primarily composed of dentin and dentin contains nerve endings. Usually, a protective layer of enamel surrounds the dentin thus protecting the nerve endings and preventing pain. However, sometimes the dentin is exposed – when this happens, harsh foods may cause pain in the nerve endings thus causing tooth sensitivity. Many conditions could expose the nerve endings, but some of the most common ones include:
- Receding Gum Line
- Teeth Grinding
- Tooth Decay and Erosion
These conditions either erode the enamel or expose part of the teeth not covered by the enamel. It is important to note that once the enamel is gone, there is no way to replace it, thus proper oral care is necessary to prevent this condition from becoming a permanent problem.
Treatment of Teeth Sensitivity
When sensitivity of the teeth happens, it is important to see a dentist. A dentist will do thorough examination and testing to determine the underlying cause of the condition. Once the cause is determined, it is best to treat it quickly and effectively to prevent teeth sensitivity in the future.
The dentist may also prescribe specialty toothpaste that block the nerve endings in the exposed dentin. This may help resolve the condition sooner.
If you or a loved one is experiencing teeth sensitivity, or have any questions about how to protect your enamel to ensure long-term oral health, call Dr. Marion at (724) 452-4300 to schedule an appointment today!