Teeth may be sensitive to stimuli such as cold or heat or to pressure. This sensitivity can occur in response to sweet, sour, or acidic foods and drinks.
The protective layer of your teeth is the natural barrier that keeps out bacteria, plaque, and acid. Certain foods and drinks can also contribute to tooth decay by breaking down this protective barrier. Although brushing and flossing regularly can reduce your risk of developing cavities, some teeth may still become sensitive over time.
If decay goes untreated long enough, it will eventually reach the inner layer of your tooth called the dentin. Dentin is less resistant to the acids and bacteria that cause sensitivity. This is why people with sensitive teeth often have deep cavities or already have fillings in their teeth. Over time, even these fillings can wear down and cause pain when eating hot or cold foods. In order to regain comfort from your teeth, you’ll need to have them treated by removing the decay. This procedure is called a root canal.
One of the many causes of tooth sensitivity is enamel loss. When a patient has their enamel removed, they are left with the dentin and pulp of the tooth exposed. The nerves inside of the teeth run very close to the roots as it is. Once a tooth’s enamel is lost, the nerves become much more sensitive because there is nothing protecting them. As a result, anything hot or cold that comes into contact with the tooth can cause it to ache or throb. This pain will likely go away when the stimulus is removed, but there are times when patients experience this sensitivity when they aren’t consuming hot beverages or biting into ice cream. This is a sign that something else is wrong with their teeth, and they should visit the dentist as soon as possible.
If the enamel of a tooth is damaged or missing, a dentist will need to provide restorative care. This includes fillings, inlays, onlays, dental crowns, and other treatments. Patients who have extreme cases of enamel loss may need to undergo a root canal treatment before moving forward with additional restoration services.
When the enamel is compromised, food particles are able to infiltrate the softer layers of the tooth and cause discomfort. A cracked tooth can cause pain when biting down on food because it presses into the soft layer of dentin called the pulp chamber. This pressure can irritate the nerves of the tooth and cause sensitivity. Flossing carefully can help to remove food debris from the cracks of the teeth and avoid further irritation. After eating an acidic meal, rinse with plain water to neutralize the acid in your mouth and help avoid discomfort.
If receding gums are the cause of your sensitive teeth, professional cleaning may help you alleviate some of the discomfort caused by sensitivity due to gum recession. Deep cleaning removes plaque and tartar buildup that can cause your gums to recede, as well as cause tooth sensitivity and pain. After a deep cleaning, it is important to maintain good oral health through regular brushing and flossing of your teeth. This will help keep your teeth clean and prevent future issues with sensitive teeth.
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