If you find yourself constantly avoiding hot or cold food and beverages because it is painful, then it may be time to do something about it.
What Is Dentin Hypersensitivity?
Dentin, which contains microscopic tubules filled with tiny nerve endings, make up most of the insides of your teeth. Protecting it is a hard outer layer of enamel and cementum.
Dentin hypersensitivity or nerve irritation is a sharp dental pain that often occurs whenever the dentin loses much of the enamel or cementum. Without its natural protective coating, the tiny nerve endings become vulnerable to being exposed to hot, cold, acidic or sticky foods, which can make for quite the painful experience.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Many things can cause tooth sensitivity, such as:
- Using a hard toothbrush can wear the enamel out and cause tooth sensitivity. So too can aggressively brushing teeth. This is why many dental experts recommend using a soft-bristled tooth.
- Regularly drinking highly acidic foods and beverages, such as soda and juices, can also cause tooth erosion and lead to sensitive teeth.
- Tooth decay, broken teeth and worn leaky fillings can also cause the dentin of your tooth to be exposed.
- Tooth grinding can wear the teeth enamel out and lead to tooth sensitivity.
- It is also very common for patients who recently received dental treatment, especially with procedures such as crowns, fillings, and tooth bleaching to have sensitive teeth. This, however, is temporary, and will usually go away in a few days’ time.
Visiting the Dentist
The best way to find relief from your pain and discomfort is to visit the dentist. Be sure to tell your dentist when you started noticing the pain and let the dentist know if you’ve done something to make yourself feel better, such as applying warm compresses or anything else.
After a couple of questions and doing preliminary examination, the dentist will then treat the underlying cause. Treatment can vary from something as simple as fixing a cavity or applying an in-office fluoride gel to strengthen the tooth enamel. Treatment can also be much worse and require surgery from a periodontist to fix gum loss that has led to your teeth’s root surfaces to become exposed.
What You Can Do About It
Other than in-office procedures and treatment, there are a few things that you can do yourself to help alleviate the pain. Case in point, using desensitizing toothpastes can help block off the nerve endings in the exposed dentin and reduce pain. You can also try to avoid acidic foods and drinks to see if it helps with the pain.
Of course, prevention is always better than cure, and the best way to prevent tooth sensitivity is to brush properly twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush every day and floss at least once daily. Also, if you grind your teeth, you may want to bring up the issue with your dentist as soon as you can well before it causes other problems, such as tooth sensitivity.
In any case, if you’ve been staying away from certain types of food and beverages for quite a while know to avoid pain, be sure to set an appointment with with Dr. Musarra. Call today at 201-795-2111 or visit our website at www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.