Do you experience a twinge of pain every time you take a bite of ice cream? What about drinking hot coffee? There are many reasons for tooth sensitivity to occur. A primary cause of dental pain, including temperature sensitivity is tooth root infection or injury. But, this isn’t the only reason pain may come and go. At Smile Design Dentistry, our dentists can help you determine the cause of your tooth sensitivity and find solutions to help you alleviate the discomfort for a better quality of life.
The Anatomy of a Tooth
Just like your skin, your teeth are porous. Tiny pores connect the outer enamel to the inner nerves of the tooth, almost like tiny tubes. Therefore, whenever they are compromised in any way, the result is pain. We know sensitivity can be caused by decay, gum disease, or other forms of dental damage. But what if these problems do not apply to you? Here, we will explore some of the unforeseen habits and scenarios that can result in extreme tooth sensitivity.
Oftentimes, aggressive brushing is to blame for sensitivity, as it can compromise the protective outer layers of the teeth. Once the enamel is slightly worn, the nerves inside the tooth are more susceptible to sensitivity. To avoid this, the first thing to do is switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush. In fact, a medium or hard toothbrush should never be used, as it can cause gum recession in addition to tooth sensitivity.
An Acidic Diet
Foods that are acidic in nature have a tendency to cause tooth sensitivity by causing enamel erosion. This includes things like citrus fruits, pickles, and tomato sauce. Generally, avoiding these foods can decrease your discomfort. Take action to re-mineralize your enamel through low-cost fluoride treatment by a Smile Design Dentistry hygienist and use of desensitizing toothpaste.
Over-the-counter whitening toothpaste can abrade tooth enamel. Various chemicals are added to these products, and some patients find they are more sensitive to these irritants than others. Switching to a non-whitening toothpaste may reduce sensitivity.
Many people notice increased sensitivity following a professional teeth whitening session. This is typical, and the sensation usually diminishes within a week or two.
A Sinus Infection
The nerves contained in the maxillary sinuses also feed the teeth. Therefore, if a sinus infection is present, tooth pain can occur as a result. It is often difficult to differentiate sinus pain from tooth pain. However, if you notice sudden tooth pain or sensitivity that coincides with congestion, the sinuses could be the culprit.
Damaged Dental Work
It is often difficult to see dental damage when it is hidden beneath a restoration. However, if you have an old dental filling, crown, or bridge, the tooth structure underneath is not invincible to decay. If you begin to experience tooth sensitivity, it could be due to old or faulty dental work.
How to Combat Tooth Sensitivity
The first step in combating tooth sensitivity is to schedule a consultation with your Smile Design dentist. After a thorough assessment, he or she will be able to identify the cause of your sensitivity. If you are experiencing discomfort or sensitivity even though your teeth are healthy, there are a few things you can do. First, switch to an ADA-approved desensitizing toothpaste, such as Sensodyne®. Next, ask your dentist if you could benefit from fluoride treatments, which can re-mineralize and strengthen your enamel. This can be performed in-office. Your doctor may also recommend a prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste.
Contact Smile Design Dentistry Today
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, schedule a consultation at one of our Florida Smile Design Dentistry locations to determine why and to receive the advice and treatment that will improve your quality of life.