If you have ever flinched from a sharp, shooting tooth pain, you know how disruptive tooth sensitivity can be. Getting to the cause of the problem can prevent the symptoms from escalating.
Why does my tooth hurt?
In a healthy mouth, the enamel on the teeth protects the lower layer of dentin which contains thousands of little dentinal tubes leading to the nerves. If the enamel is compromised, hot, cold, acidic or sticky substances can reach the dentin, resulting in pain. Likewise, gums serve as a protective coating to the dentin. The key to discovering the cause of the pain is to determine why the gum or enamel has been broken down.
Here are some of the most common culprits:
- Cavities – Holes in the enamel exposes the dentin.
- Vigorous brushing – A hard bristled brush can break down the enamel or cause the gums to recede.
- Gingivitis – When the gums become inflamed, the roots of the tooth can be exposed.
- Grinding teeth – Clenching and grinding breaks down the enamel.
- Acidic food – Food or even mouthwash that is particularly acidic can break down the enamel.
- Cracked tooth – A cracked tooth could cause substances to reach the dentin, become filled with bacteria and get infected.
In addition to breaking down the enamel or gums, all of these hazards can negatively affect the dentin. Tooth sensitivity should be addressed as soon as possible. An accurate diagnosis of the problem is an essential part of alleviating and preventing pain.
What can I do about my tooth sensitivity?
Using a de-sensitising toothpaste like from Colgate or Sensodyne is a simple and easy way to resolve tooth sensitivity, depending upon its cause. Should this fail to work, a surefire solution is to contact us at Tee Family Dental to find the exact cause of the problem!
We will go about our usual diagnostic processes which involve testing the tooth for vitality, cracks, decay etc. Once we figure out exactly what the problem is, we will discuss all possible pathways including pros/cons and prices to make sure that the solution works for all of us!
What can I do to prevent tooth sensitivity?
- Schedule regular dentist visits to reduce plaque build up and maintain a healthy mouth.
- Use a soft bristled brush and brush gently.
- Switch to a neutral, non-acidic mouthwash
- Wear a guard at night if teeth clenching or grinding is an issue
- Avoid an excess of acidic foods
- Use good oral hygiene practices
If you are one of the many Australians suffering from tooth sensitivity, take heart, there are ample solutions. In conjunction with your dentist, it is possible to discover the source of your enamel or gum recession and find a course of action which best fits your needs.