02 Feb Do you have sensitive teeth?
Do your teeth hurt when you eat ice cream or drink hot coffee? If you answered yes, you might have sensitive teeth.
Tooth sensitivity affects many people. It can show up suddenly or progress slowly over time. Unfortunately, some people are simply predisposed to having sensitive teeth. Fluoride treatments, tooth pastes and oral products specifically geared towards treating sensitivity can help.
Listed below are some causes for sensitive teeth and possible treatment options:
If you are grinding your teeth, it can cause the protective enamel of the tooth to thin and chip. This decreases the barrier between the living tissue within the tooth, allowing for temperature changes to easily transmit to the nerve of the tooth. One way to treat grinding is to have a night guard made by your dentist. It will also help relieve some of the stress and strain placed on the teeth, including the small ligaments which hold the teeth in place.
Poor Mineralization of Teeth
Minerals like fluoride help strengthen the protective enamel layer of the teeth. As with grinding, poorly mineralized enamel will wear and chip creating less of a barrier with food or drink, triggering the sensitivity.
Improper Bite or Trauma
When teeth suffer trauma it can cause hyper sensitivity to teeth. If someone has an improper bite, it can result in individual teeth taking on more force than they are designed to. These excessive forces and hyper sensitivity can present as general sensitivity with the teeth. Braces can be used to correct a bite and a splint or occlusal guard can be made to help alleviate some of the forces on a tooth/teeth that have experienced trauma.
Recession of the gums can expose the root surface of the tooth, which is much more sensitive than the crown of a tooth. Increased sensitivity is due to the fact that the root surface of a tooth has no protectant enamel layer. Sensitivity products can help reduce sensitivity, but one of the best treatments is gum grafting, where by the root surface is once again covered with gum tissue and therefore not exposed directly to irritants.
It is always best to discuss your tooth sensitivity issues with your dentist so they can direct you towards the most successful course of treatment for your teeth.