It can be surprising to take a sip of cold water or bite of delicious, hot pizza and be met with immediate dental pain, and understanding their causes will prevent serious problems. Here is more information about how dental sensitivity becomes an issue and how your dentist can help you to fend off future problems.
Understanding Dental Sensitivity
What Causes Sensitivity?
Dental sensitivity has a long list of causes, ranging from aggressive tooth brushing and dental trauma to enamel erosion, gum recession, and tooth decay. Dentists explain that sensitivity can become a problem anytime the gums or enamel is damaged, allowing hot, cold, or acidic foods to move closer to the innermost portions of the tooth where the nerves are.
For example, eating acidic foods softens dental enamel and brushing too soon after a meal can remove this hard mineral surface, revealing porous dentin. In addition to discoloring your teeth, losing the protective layer of enamel allows foods and beverages to move into the pores of your teeth and irritate the inner pulp.
Tooth decay causes sensitivity in a similar manner. When bacterial acids erode a hole in a tooth, it allows the nerves to come into contact with foods, drinks, and even the air you breathe, creating sensitivity to extreme temperatures.
How Can You Prevent Sensitive Teeth?
In addition to brushing and flossing regularly, see your dentist every six months for thorough, deep cleanings to remove the plaque and tartar that cause decay. If you have sensitive teeth, use anti-sensitivity toothpaste, which is formulated to temporarily plug dentin tubule holes, making teeth less susceptible to extreme temperatures.
Tooth sensitivity is a daily discomfort and leads to serious issues, so you should talk with a dentist about your oral health as soon as possible. For over 35 years, the skilled team at Dentaworks Hawaii has provided patients of all ages with teeth whitening treatments, routine cleanings, and emergency care. View their services online, or call their Honolulu office at (808) 528-1200 to schedule an appointment.