WHEN TO WORRY ABOUT TOOTH SENSITIVITY
At least occasionally, most people will feel tooth sensitivity. Also known as dentin hypersensitivity, this common dental concern can affect more than half of most Americans. Dental sensitivity could make it difficult to enjoy a cold scoop of ice cream or a hot sip of coffee. Some people just feel tooth sensitivity occasionally, but other feel chronic pain from sensitive teeth. In either case, you need to talk to a board-certified dentist in Macedonia, OH about your sensitive teeth. Dentin hypersensitivity is a common symptom of larger conditions, for instance, a cavity or gum disease. If you're concerned about your sensitive teeth, schedule an appointment with our team at DentalWorks - Macedonia and read on to learn more on the common causes of sensitive teeth as well as home and professional treatments.
WHAT IS TOOTH SENSITIVITY?
The outer layer of your teeth (the enamel) is designed to defend the interior pulp of your teeth (dentin), which has nerve endings. When the enamel is compromised or has a hole, the nerves inside your tooth may be irritated. Most individuals have sensitivity problems when they eat or drink something that is especially hot, cold, or sweet. Pressure changes (like cold fronts or flying on an airplane) can also trigger pain. Sensitive teeth can be the consequence of something simple, like brushing your teeth too much or using a whitening treatment, but it may also be a symptom of a larger issue, for instance, a cavity or gum disease. It's important to tell your dentist in Macedonia, OH if you have tooth sensitivity so they can diagnose and treat the underlying cause.
CAUSES OF TOOTH SENSITIVITY
- GRINDING YOUR TEETH
Nocturnal bruxism (grinding your teeth at night) can lead to dentin hypersensitivity. Often related to stress, bruxism wears down the enamel and makes them more sensitive.
- A CRACKED OR CHIPPED TOOTH
Chips and cracks in your teeth can cause tooth sensitivity. When the outer enamel of a tooth is damaged, your dental nerve could be exposed.
- WEAKENED ENAMEL
Your enamel can become weak from a number of things — decay, aggressive brushing, teeth whitening, consuming acidic foods and drinks, grinding your teeth, and even more. Weakened enamel is more prone to tooth sensitivity.
- IMPROPER BRUSHING
Believe it or not, there are ways to brush too much. This happens when you are brushing too aggressively, your toothpaste is abrasive, or you're brushing more than three times per day.
- GUM DISEASE
Once your gums pulls away from your teeth (typically the result of gum disease), the tooth roots are exposed. This leads to dental sensitivity.
- DENTAL CAVITY
One of the symptoms of a cavity is tooth sensitivity. A cavity is an area of decayed enamel that allows air and other irritants to get to the dental nerve.
- WHITENING YOUR TEETH
If you're using an over-the-counter tooth whitening kit, you may find your teeth are more sensitive. While this usually fades after a few days, it may be a symptom that your enamel is weak, the whitening gel is too harsh, or you are leaving the gel on too long.
TALKING TO YOUR DENTIST
Most people experience temporary tooth sensitivity throughout their lives. A little pain every now and then that could be fixed with anti-sensitivity toothpaste or other home remedies. Even if your sensitivity goes away, you still need to discuss it with your dentist during your next appointment. They might be able to recommend products or home remedies that will reduce your sensitivity in the future. When you have chronic tooth sensitivity, schedule an appointment with your dentist. Your dentist will search for the cause of your sensitivity, which may be a chipped or cracked tooth, gum recession, or a cavity. Once they identify the underlying cause, a treatment can be performed to fix your sensitivity and any other symptoms.
OPTIONS FOR TREATMENT
If you're feeling sensitivity in your teeth, try lightening up when you brush, using a toothpaste that's formulated to decrease sensitivity, and brushing no more than twice per day. If your sensitivity is caused by whitening your teeth with a store-bought kit, ask your dentist about professional teeth whitening treatments. DentalWorks - Macedonia offers both home kits and laser teeth whitening, which your team will customize to give great results with minimal tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity caused by a cavity, chipped tooth, or a crack in your tooth could be treated with a tooth-colored filling or dental crown. The filling or crown will seal and protect the exposed dental nerve. If you grind your teeth, your dentist can recommend a personalized night guard to use while you sleep. Sensitivity from gum problems will normally need a periodontal treatment. This may include a scaling and root planing procedure for gingivitis or periodontal surgery for periodontitis. After one of these treatment is used to stop gum recession, you may also need gum grafts to re-cover your tooth roots.
To prevent sensitivity, make sure you schedule an annual exam with your board-certified dentist in Macedonia, OH. They can diagnose and treat problem like cavities, gum disease, teeth grinding, and much more before they can cause symptoms like sensitivity. During your exam, you can also ask your dentist to check your brushing technique to make sure you are not brushing too hard. Also, try to avoid foods and drinks that are highly acidic (citrus fruits and juices, soda, and most processed foods) since this can weaken your enamel. To help strengthen your enamel, you may ask your dentist about adding professional fluoride treatments.
BE LESS SENSITIVE IN YOUR TEETH
To treat or prevent dentin hypersensitivity, talk to your board-certified dentist in Macedonia, OH. It could be as simple as altering your diet or brushing habits. However, you may need a filling, crown, or periodontal treatment to tackle the underlying problem. Our experienced team at DentalWorks - Macedonia will help you create a personalized action plan to ease your dental sensitivity and improve the health of your teeth. Get in touch with our office in Macedonia, OH to schedule your exam and consultation if you want to fix your sensitive teeth.