Do you experience tooth pain after eating hot or cold food? If you do, you might be a victim of “dentin hypersensitivity” or commonly known as Sensitive Teeth or Tooth Sensitivity. Here are a few things that cause tooth sensitivity and how to prevent it:
The above picture shows the anatomy of our teeth. Familiarizing ourselves with every part of our teeth helps us better understand what causes teeth to be sensitive and what measures we can take to avoid it.
Tooth sensitivity is pain or discomfort experienced when the inner part of our teeth or exposed root surfaces are subjected to the harsh dental environment (cold or hot food and beverages).
In the teeth anatomy diagram above, you can see that teeth are made up of dentin, which contains thousands of microscopic tubules that are connected with sensitive nerve endings. When the hard outer layer called enamel is decayed, worn down, or cracked, the inside part of the tooth is exposed, resulting in tooth sensitivity.
Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
There are many causes of tooth sensitivity. Here are the most common reasons you have sensitive teeth:
· Gum recession occurs as you age and the dentin becomes unprotected
· Teeth erode when you have a highly acidic diet
· Teeth are worn down if you have conditions like GERD or bulimia
· Tooth abrasion happens when you brush too hard or you use abrasive toothpaste
· Tooth decay around the edges of fillings promote acid producing bacteria
These are some of the most common causes of sensitive teeth. If you want to prevent tooth sensitivity, good oral hygiene habits are important. Remember to use a soft bristled toothbrush and avoid excessive eating or drinking of acidic foods and drinks. We look forward to meeting you at Windermere Orthodontics, with locations in Suwanee, Cumming and Brookhaven.
– Dr. Michael Gorlovsky