Tooth sensitivity is generally the result of worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots due to gingival recession. Other causes of tooth sensitivity include tooth decay, a cracked or chipped tooth, a worn filling, or periodontal disease. Tooth sensitivity is a very common problem affecting more than 1 in 8 Americans. For some they are aware and neglecting the problem and for others they think it is normal and try to mask it by avoiding those teeth when it comes to certain food items. When tooth sensitivity is present it becomes difficult at times to enjoy our favorite food and drink or even brush our teeth properly.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
The pain or discomfort you feel when a tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperatures or even an acidic food or drink. This is the hallmark sign of tooth sensitivity. There are 3 layers of a tooth. These are called enamel, dentin, and pulp. The enamel is the harder outer shell that covers your teeth. Tooth enamel is considered the hardest mineral substance in the body. Even stronger than bone. There is one other piece to the puzzle and that is cementum. Cementum covers and protects the root surface where the enamel does not cover. When something happens to the enamel or cementum you end up with tooth sensitivity. The enamel could be damaged thru tooth decay or trauma while the cementum can be lost due to periodontal disease.
–Worn Down Enamel. Tooth enamel can suffer damage from various sources, such as abrasive brushing, physical trauma, erosion caused by acidic beverages, or misuse of teeth-whitening products. These factors can cause the enamel to deteriorate, exposing the sensitive dentin layer underneath. The dentin is porous and contains tiny tubules that lead to the pulp chamber, where nerves and blood vessels are located. This can lead to the onset of tooth sensitivity, causing discomfort and pain.
–Periodontal Disease. is a condition that causes an inflammatory response in the mouth, which worsens over time. Gingivitis, the initial stage, is reversible with proper treatment, but if left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, a non-reversible condition. The progression of periodontitis can lead to the breakdown of the cementum, gingival tissues, and bone that support the teeth, ultimately resulting in tooth sensitivity caused by the exposure of tooth roots.
–Bruxism. Also referred to as teeth grinding. When we grind our teeth we put extreme forces on our teeth. This force can lead to cracks in the enamel on your teeth. Once those cracks form, it exposes the soft dentin beneath leading to tooth sensitivity.
Tips If You Have Tooth Sensitivity
-Softer Toothbrushing. To prevent damage to your teeth and gums, it’s important to use a soft-bristled brush and hold it at a 45-degree angle to your gums while brushing. It’s also best to avoid consuming acidic foods and drinks if you already suffer from tooth sensitivity as they can cause discomfort and pain. If you do choose to consume them, wait for at least 30 minutes after brushing to give your teeth some time to recover and reduce the risk of sensitivity.
-Slow Down On Teeth Whitening. Teeth whitening can cause temporary tooth sensitivity. If you do develop tooth sensitivity while undergoing teeth whitening treatment speak to your dentist immediately.
How Is Tooth Sensitivity Treated?
Dentistry is highly personalized care. Tooth sensitivity is no different. The treatment for tooth sensitivity will depend on the cause. A proper diagnosis is necessary to develop a proper treatment plan for your tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity treatment can include: -Use Of Desensitizing Toothpaste. A common over the counter toothpaste is called Sensodyne. This toothpaste acts to seal those tubules present in the dentin. By sealing those tubules, it will remove or diminish the tooth sensitivity you may be feeling. Sensodyne contains, calcium, phosphate, as well as fluoride.
-Fluroide Treatment. This can be done at home or in office. In office, the fluoride will be applied using a tray and applied to your teeth giving adequate coverage. There are also take prescription home rinses that can be used by the patient as needed. -Custom Fabricated Mouth Guards. This would be used to ward off damage from teeth grinding that can cause tooth sensitivity.
–Restore Broken, Chipped, or Fractured teeth. This can include dental bonding or dental crowns to restore your teeth to a healthier state and prevent tooth sensitivity.
-Periodontal Disease Treatment. This can include bone grafting as well as gum grafts to cover the root surfaces of your teeth that have been exposed.
–Root Canal Therapy (RCT). In some cases tooth sensitivity is caused by a dental infection present inside a tooth.
Once you know the causes of tooth sensitivity, it’s crucial to consult your dentist and address any underlying issues promptly. Taking a proactive approach and treating tooth sensitivity can prevent it from escalating into a more severe problem.
If you’re looking for a smile makeover, contact Marielaina Perrone, DDS, at (702) 458-2929 to schedule a complimentary cosmetic consultation appointment. Our team is excited to assist you in achieving the smile of your dreams in Henderson, Summerlin, and Las Vegas, NV.
Dr. Marielaina Perrone is a highly respected and experienced dentist in Henderson, Nevada, with over two decades of expertise in providing quality dental care to her patients. She graduated from Stony Brook University School Of Dental Medicine and has completed advanced training in cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry, and orthodontics.
Dr. Perrone is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in dentistry and continuing education to provide the best possible care for her patients.
Dr. Perrone takes a patient-centered approach and believes in personalized treatment plans tailored to each individual’s unique needs and preferences. Her gentle and compassionate demeanor creates a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere for patients during their dental appointments.
Aside from dentistry, Dr. Perrone enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and cooking. She also volunteers her time and expertise to various charitable organizations in her community.