Do you cringe when you eat certain foods because of tooth sensitivity? Eating or drinking shouldn’t be painful, but many people experience sensitivity regularly. In fact, it is estimated that about half of the population has dental sensitivity.
When a tooth is healthy, then a layer of enamel protects the surface area of the teeth to avoid damage. But, small problems might impact the structure of the teeth, causing sensitivity. These issues can be treated, but the treatment type depends on the cause of your tooth sensitivity.
When Are Your Teeth Painful?
When do you notice pain or sensitivity? These are common triggers for sensitivity:
- Eating hot or cold foods
- Breathing cold air
- Eating acidic or sweet foods
- Drinking cold or sweet beverages
It is important that you notice the trends when you experience symptoms of sensitivity so that you can talk to your dentist about your concerns.
Causes of Dental Sensitivity
One common cause of tooth sensitivity is when the roots of the teeth are exposed due to gum disease that causes the tissue to recede. Many people experience gum recession by the time they reach retirement age.
Other causes of sensitivity might be due to damage to the enamel of the teeth. A highly acidic diet can lead to tooth erosion, usually caused by drinking a lot of soda or eating a large amount of acidic foods such as citrus, tomatoes, and pickles.
It is also possible for dental sensitivity to occur due to acid reflux or bulimia. When the stomach acid comes in contact with the teeth on a regular basis, then it can cause the enamel to wear down over time.
Sometimes, sensitivity is due to tooth decay, fractured teeth, or worn fillings. If you notice that the sensitivity is focused in one area of the mouth, then it could be an indication that it is time to see a dentist for an exam.
Prevention and Treatment of Sensitive Teeth
Good oral hygiene practices are important to reduce the risk of tooth sensitivity. Talk to your dental team about the right brushing and flossing techniques to avoid damage to the gums and enamel. If you experience regular sensitivity, then it might be necessary to change your diet or identify the right treatment.
An open conversation with our dental office is the best thing that you can do to eliminate dental sensitivity. Treating the problems in the early stages can help you avoid bigger issues in the future. Sometimes, the treatments might be simple, such as using a desensitizing toothpaste or adding fluoride treatments to strengthen the teeth. Using these fluoride products helps to provide extra protection against decay while preventing enamel damage at the same time.
We might also discuss in-office treatments, such as a root canal, crown, or gum graft if needed. For more information, schedule an exam with our team at myDental. We offer several convenient locations in the area: Tech Ridge and Norwood Park.