Having sensitive teeth is pretty common, and can have many causes. A few of these reasons are trauma, worn fillings or tooth enamel, gum disease, and exposed tooth roots.
WHAT CAUSES SENSITIVITY
When you’ve got healthy teeth, enamel protects the crowns. The roots of healthy teeth are covered with a protective layer called cementum. Under the enamel and the cementum is a more porous layer of the tooth called dentin. The dentin layer of your teeth has channels that connect with the pulp of the tooth. The pulp is in the core of the tooth and contains your tooth’s blood supplies and nerves. When foods or liquids come into contact with the exposed dentinal tubules, a pain response can be triggered.
THE GOOD NEWS
You can reduce the chances of getting tooth sensitivity with good oral hygiene. Poor dental health allows bacteria to collect around and between the teeth. If the bacteria isn’t removed, it can harden into tartar, which can build up and cause your gums to recede around the teeth. Brushing and flossing regularly is one great way to prevent sensitive teeth.
If you already have sensitive teeth, it is recommended that you make an appointment with your dentist. He/She can help you find the best treatment. They may suggest a toothpaste specifically for sensitive teeth – a desensitizing toothpaste. Another alternative treatment would be a brush on fluoride gel or a fluoride rinse. These are formulated to make your teeth less sensitive and provides extra protection against decay. Both of these options are in home treatment that you can administer yourself and are reasonably inexpensive. Other treatments that your dentist can provide in office are also available. These include treatments that are brushed onto the teeth — such as fluoride varnishes and plastic resins, fillings if a lot of tooth area has been lost and lasers.
WE CAN HELP
Proper oral hygiene is the solution to preventing sensitive-tooth pain. Contact St. Romain Family Dentistry or visit stromaindentistry.com if you have any questions about your daily oral hygiene routine or concerns about tooth sensitivity.