Tooth Sensitivity: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
We’re all too familiar with the unique feeling of tooth sensitivity, and experiencing these quick zings of pain can be enough to make you flinch. While this can be concerning, it’s important to know that tooth sensitivity is incredibly common. Luckily, your dentist can help relieve tooth sensitivity and get you back to eating, drinking, and smiling without discomfort in no time.
Symptoms of Tooth Sensitivity
We’ve already covered the primary symptom of tooth sensitivity — those quick, uncomfortable bursts of pain. It’s completely normal to feel this after eating something hot or cold. But when tooth sensitivity happens at these other times, it’s probably wise to see your dentist.
- Pain that lingers even after you’re done eating or drinking something hot or cold
- Pain during brushing or flossing
- Pain when biting down or applying pressure
Causes of Sensitive Teeth
Many people who experience sensitive teeth will most likely have decreased amounts of enamel protection. Enamel is the layer of the tooth that protects the inner workings of tooth anatomy, including the roots and nerves. However, many things can cause enamel erosion and allow those nerves to become exposed. The result is the feeling of tooth sensitivity. Some of the main causes of enamel erosion include:
- Brushing or flossing too hard
- Eating foods high in sugar or acidity
- Teeth grinding
- Poor dental hygiene
Now, even though enamel erosion is a common problem and a common reason behind tooth sensitivity, there are some other potential causes that you should be aware of.
- Broken, cracked, or lost fillings
- Tooth decay
- Cracked or broken tooth
If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, it’s always best to see your dentist to find out what’s causing the pain in the first place. If you wait, pain can increase, and the problem can get worse.
Treating Sensitive Teeth
When it comes to treating sensitive teeth, your dentist needs to know what’s causing it first. Then your treatment plan will be catered to your specific needs.
Broken Dental Restorations
If your sensitivity is caused by a broken filling or older dental restoration, your dentist will most likely want to replace it. This may require a new filling, a crown, inlay, or onlay.
Nobody wants to hear that they may need a root canal, but this treatment has an unwarranted bad reputation. If your dentist recommends a root canal, you can relax knowing that this treatment will relieve your pain, not cause it.
Sensitivity that’s caused by worn down enamel or gum recession may be treated with fluoride at your dental appointments or your dentist may recommend a specific toothpaste or rinse. Most of the time, you should be using a soft toothbrush, but especially if you have sensitive teeth.
While tooth sensitivity is incredibly common, it’s also incredibly important to mention it to your dentist. Many times treatment is easy and may only require a minor change in your oral hygiene routine. But even if you do need dental treatment, rest assured that this will get you relief.