Imagine that you just went out to dinner with friends. Cold drinks are served, and you have to pass them up. It may be time to talk to the dentist about the reason that your teeth are sensitive. Pearlee Dental Clinic can help you learn more what causes this and how to take care of it.
Do your teeth hurt when you drink hot or cold beverages? Why do they hurt? You just bit into a delicious ice cream bar, but ouch! We’ll discuss some of the reasons that you may experience this unwelcome pain. The term for this discomfort is called “dentin hypersensitivity.”
It may be ongoing and can affect one tooth or a number of them. Causes are varied, and for some people it can be a temporary problem which can be treated with a better flossing and brushing regimen. As your biological dentist in Ottawa, we want you to know more about this condition, its causes and how it can be helped.
What is Dentin?
It is the material that is found below the gums, under the tooth. It is located under the enamel of the tooth. Being softer than enamel, when it is exposed to air, cold or hot drinks and acidic foods, its proximity to the nerves may cause the feeling of discomfort, experienced as sensitivity. You may have to speak with the dentist, according to Ontario Dental Association, to determine the cause of your tooth sensitivity.
What Are Some of the Causes?
Pain may be felt within the roots of the tooth. Some of the triggers include the following:
- Cold air
- Hot and cold drinks
- Hot and cold foods
- Acidic foods
- Sweet food and drinks
- Cold water
- Brushing or flossing
- Mouth rinse with alcohol
Symptoms may be mild or intense, and some are known to come and go. The enamel may be worn down on the tooth because of brushing too hard, using a hard toothbrush, grinding your teeth during the night or often eating and drinking acidic foods and beverages.
What Are Some Other Causes?
There are other conditions which may cause teeth to be sensitive. Acid reflux (GERD) may bring up stomach acid that can wear down teeth, as time goes by. Conditions, such as bulimia, that cause frequent vomiting may also have a hand in subjecting the teeth to acid.
Receding gums may leave the root of the the tooth exposed, which can cause the feeling of tooth sensitivity.
If teeth are broken or chipped or decayed they may be sensitive. Fillings or crowns that are worn down may also leave the tooth exposed. You’ll know that this may be the case when you feel the sensitivity in one tooth. Some of the enamel on a tooth may have worn away as well.
If you are over 40, you may be encountering the issue of shrinking gums. They may be pulling away from your teeth. Since the roots do not have enough enamel to offer protection, they are more sensitive. The dentist will look at your gums to look for shrinking as well as gum disease.
Teeth may be sensitive after dental work is done, such as fillings, crowns or whitening. This is temporary and will subside after a bit of time.
Some Resolution For Sensitivity
The first step in resolution is prevention. There are several things that you can do to prevent this condition. These include the following:
- Keep teeth clean to free them of bacteria
- Use a toothpaste that is desensitizing
- Use a toothbrush that does not scratch the enamel of the tooth and brush gently in a circular motion
- Soften bristles of brush with warm water when brushing teeth
- Reduce intake of sugary snacks and acidic food and drinks
A method of prevention includes changing your snack diet away from sugary and acidic foods to those who are less damaging to teeth. Included are vegetables rich in fibre, milk, cheese and plain yogurt. Soda, sticky candy and high-sugar carbs all work on destroying enamel which leads to issues of sensitivity.
When prevention has not been followed, the next step is resolving the issue with a visit to the dentist. There are some other ways that they may help you, when the issue isn’t a cavity or cracked tooth.
After consulting with the dentist, you may want to use a prescription to harden the enamel. The dentist can advise you on this step. Some people use a fluoride varnish, applied to the teeth every few months. Others may choose bonding as a protection for the tooth; it is a resin that is the color of the tooth that is applied to roots that are sensitive. With gently brushing and a soft toothbrush, bonding can last a long time.
If teeth grinding is the issue, a plastic night guard may be recommended. You will wear this while you sleep.
Call Your Dentist
If any of these symptoms occur, it wise to call the dentist at once. They are the following:
- Your teeth feel sensitivity when pressure is applied
- Pain lasts longer than an hour
- You still feel sensitivity after the use of a desensitizing toothpaste for several weeks
- You can see a colour change in the gums that surround your sensitive tooth
You’ve tried everything from special toothpaste to refraining from cold drinks or spicy food. You still have sensitivity in a tooth or in several teeth. It may be time to go to the dentist for an examination to find out the cause of the problem.
Our Riverside dental clinic in Ottawa can help determine the reason for your sensitive tooth or teeth. Consider contacting us for an appointment and examination. After all, you do not want to be uncomfortable when you eat or drink, and our holistic dentistry might resolve the issue easily. Eating your favourite foods may be back on the list again after a visit to Pearlee Dental Clinic. However, you may wish to follow our suggestions when it comes to snacking, to prevent future sensiviity.