The healthy tooth is normally surrounded by enamel; these enamel will protect the tooth from any stimulus, and the tooth root is normally protected by the bone and gums. But if the enamel is worm down or if the gum line has receded the dentine will be exposure… and the sensitivity appears.
Dentin contains thousands of microscopic tubules, or channels, leading to the tooth’s pulp, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. When exposed to the elements, these dentinal tubules allow heat, cold, acidic or even sticky substances to reach the nerves inside the tooth, causing pain.
Some factors that contribute to sensitive teeth may include:
- Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush. This can wear down enamel, causing dentin to become exposed, or encourage gum recession.
- Gum recession. This often happens in people suffering from periodontal disease, and it exposes the dentin.
- Inflamed and sore gum tissue can result in exposure of the tooth’s root.
- Cracked teeth. These can become filled with bacteria from plaque and cause inflammation in the pulp of the tooth. In more severe cases, it may lead to abscess and infection.
- Teeth grinding or clenching. This can wear down enamel.
- Plaque buildup.
- Long-term use of mouthwash. Some over-the-counter mouthwashes contain acids. If dentin is exposed dentin, the acids can make existing tooth sensitivity worse and also further damage the dentin layer. There are neutral fluoride mouthwashes available that might be a better option.
- Acidic foods. These can encourage enamel reduction.
- Dental procedures. Teeth may be sensitive after professional cleaning, root planning, crown replacement and other tooth restoration procedures. Usually the pain will disappear in four to six weeks.
- It strains the dental ligament. The tiny ligaments that support each tooth can become inflamed in response to heavy clenching or grinding—especially when one tooth is absorbing the brunt of the force and It traumatizes the dental nerve. The nerve tissue inside of the tooth can become traumatized by the force of one tooth banging into another.
One of the standard treatment for tooth sensitivity is using a toothpaste that can help desensitize, and it’s important to ensure your toothpaste always has fluoride in it — even if desensitizing. But, this treatment doesn’t get to the core of the problem. Sometimes dental crowns and implants are necessary to handle big cases of sensitivity.
Most importantly, if you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, it is likely a signal of an issue with your teeth and you should pop on the phone with our dental office 1-866-828-2871 Call free now to schedule a call with Dr. Sevilla.