It can happen to anyone: you’re sipping on a hot cup of coffee or just scooped a large bowl of ice cream. As soon as you sip or take a bite, pain shoots through your teeth and causes intense pain. Tooth sensitivity is fairly common and can occur without much warning with specific substances and temperatures. While the pain is temporary, it is also sudden and sharp which isn’t fun while trying to eat or drink your favorite foods.

Causes of tooth sensitivity can include sweets, acidic, or hot and cold foods. Enamel will protect the underlying layer of dentin, which is softer than enamel. However, if the enamel is worn down and the gums begin to recede, the dentin is exposed and can cause pain since the dentin is connected to nerves and triggers pain in sensitive teeth. Factors that can contribute to tooth sensitivity can include cracked teeth, plaque buildup, gum recession, and brushing teeth too hard. Tooth sensitivity may be prominent after fillings and whitening treatments, too.

While tooth sensitivity cannot be completely reversed and dissipate, there are ways to lessen the symptoms and live without pain. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush with desensitizing toothpaste will help relieve pain and avoiding highly acidic foods. If you know you grind your teeth while sleeping, consider investing in a mouth guard to protect your teeth. By taking preventative measures, your teeth will be less likely to develop sensitive outbursts.

Other recommendations include desentizing or bonding which is treating exposed root surfaces with a bonding resin. Fluoride may be applied to strengthen enamel and reduce sensitivity. In intense cases, a root canal may be required. This is a more invasive procedure but it is considered the most successful technique for completely eliminating sensitivity in teeth.

Nobody needs to live in pain with tooth sensitivity, and if a specific tooth is affecting you it can make daily tasks more difficult. If you’re struggling with this issue, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and schedule an appointment. We are also more than happy to discuss options for preventing tooth sensitivity before it even starts.

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