So, Your Teeth Can’t Take a Joke? Find Out Why They’re So Sensitive
If your teeth seem to cause you pain at the slightest irritations, then you might have a condition called sensitive teeth. With tooth sensitivity, anything from biting into an ice cream bar and sipping a hot drink to breathing cool air through your mouth, brushing, flossing, and eating sweet treats can cause wincing pain. If this sounds familiar, then you likely have sensitive teeth.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth and Why Are They So Painful?
Tooth sensitivity occurs when the dentin, a layer of the tooth located beneath the protective enamel, is exposed. Dentin is much less dense than enamel. It also contains porous tubules that run throughout its structure. These tubules allow hot or cold temperatures, sticky foods, and acidic foods to interact with the tooth’s nerves, which result in the pain you experience due to sensitive teeth.
Several conditions can expose tooth dentin and/or roots to the elements, causing sensitivity:
- Receding gums
- Tooth decay
- Worn enamel and/or fillings
- Chipped, cracked, or otherwise damaged teeth
- Aggressive brushing and flossing
- Periodontal (gum) disease
Treatments for Extreme Sensitivity
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to address tooth sensitivity. Your treatment will depend on the specific, underlying cause. If no major damage appears to be present, your dentist might first suggest you try a toothpaste formulated specially with compounds designed to reduce sensitivity. If, after several applications, you do not experience relief, then your dentist might suggest in-office sensitivity treatments with products like fluoride gel and other desensitizing agents.
If you have extensive damage or a more serious condition causing tooth sensitivity, further treatments will likely be recommended. These might include:
- Dental bonding
- Dental inlay
- Root canal
If periodontal disease is present, we’ll discuss treatment and disease management options with you. Depending on the severity, progression of the disease, and extent of damage done to the gums, treatments for periodontal disease might include:
- A special, deep cleaning to specifically target periodontal disease
- Surgical gum grafts (in extreme cases)
Schedule an Appointment at Dr. Christopher J. Fotinos Cosmetic & General Dentistry Today
If you’ve been experiencing pain and sensitivity, and it doesn’t clear up with over-the-counter products, we recommend scheduling a check up with either Dr. Fotinos or Dr. Rosales. We’ll perform a thorough examination and take x-rays, if necessary, to determine what’s causing you so much pain. Once we’ve diagnosed the issue, we’ll discuss available treatments to determine the best option for you. Contact our office today!