Usually, the Result of Exposed Root Structure
Many people, especially later in life, experience pain in their teeth when eating or drinking hot or cold items. But it’s not necessarily hot or cold, rather the quick change in temperature that over stimulates the nerves in your teeth. When temperature change hurts it is usually the result of the root structure of one or more teeth becoming exposed. When this happens, you lose the insulating benefits and protection of gum tissue that may no longer be there. Without it, a tooths dentin is exposed and a simple breath of cold air, sip of hot tea, or bite of ice cream can cause pain.
Dentin is the layer of the tooth usually just below the gum line and under the tooths enamel layer. The unique thing about dentin is that it contains millions of tiny tubes or holes each connected to an individual nerve ending. Therefore, a very sensitive area. When these tubules are left exposed it’s similar to when a blister pops exposing new skin, the result is over stimulated nerves and sharp pain.
Many Reasons for Dentin Exposure
There are many causes of root structure or dentin exposure, some simple, some complex. Something as simple as brushing excessively or too hard can wear away gum tissue and even hard tooth enamel. Overaggressive brushing is more common than you think. Many struggle to get the right pressure and find the correct brush type. Ask your hygienist for help with this.
Drinking Alcohol or acidic drinks can also lead you down a path to sensitive teeth. The amount and regularity of these drinks will have an effect. Alcohol can be negative as it dries out the mouth including your gums. And the acid in pop, coffee, tea, fruit juice, wine and energy drinks can wear down enamel exposing dentin.
Tooth whitening products sometimes contain strong ingredients needed to remove stubborn stains, but they can also cause sensitivity. Some are known to have a negative affect on enamel and leave tender nerves unprotected. Recently though, new whitening products have become popular claiming not to have any nerve irritating, enamel wearing elements.
Other reasons for sensitive teeth include Bruxism (tooth grinding) and gum recession which has many causes including genetics.
A Solution for Normal and Severe Sensitivity
To fight increased sensitivity the solution may be a simple matter of having better dental health. If you haven’t been to your dentist in years, first find out if there’s an issue causing sensitivity, like a cavity or infection. Make an appointment. Under the right conditions, gum health can improve, even grow back and re-protect your sensitive teeth. A change in diet or lifestyle can help if that is the root cause of the problem. Even getting advice on the right brush for you or a re-education from a hygienist on how to brush could really help. There are moth guards for bruxism and whitening methods that don’t have harsh ingredients. These are all simple fixes that Erbsville Dental can help with.
If the problem is more severe ask Dr. Mathews about bonding suspect areas of trouble. There are different materials dentists can use to temporarily seal and fix sensitive teeth. When temperature change hurts call Erbsville Dental.
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Accordingly, always seek the advice of your Dentist or other healthcare providers regarding a dental condition or treatment.