Tooth Sensitivity: Why It Occurs And How It Is Treated

13 June 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Articles


Do you feel sharp, excruciating pain when you take a bite of ice cream or a drink of something that is really hot? If so, you are not alone. Around half of the population in this country suffers from this problem, but it is something that can be fixed. The first step a dentist can do for this is determine the cause of the problem. Next, the dentist may suggest some at-home methods for you to try. If these do not work, he or she might recommend having a dental procedure to reduce or eliminate the sensitivity.  

The Causes Of Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can occur for a number of reasons, and one reason is from an oral problem you may have. Tooth decay is one problem that can lead to this issue, and gum disease is another problem. If the dentist finds either of these issues in your mouth, he or she will recommend treating them to stop them from progressing and to see if it helps with the tooth sensitivity.

The other common cause of tooth sensitivity is worn-out enamel. Enamel is something dentists talk about a lot, and this is because enamel is such an important component of teeth. Enamel protects teeth and is found on the outer-most layer of teeth. The problem with enamel is that it can wear down over time. This happens naturally, but it also occurs from bad habits. Brushing your teeth too hard, for example, can actually lead to a breakdown of tooth enamel.

When the enamel wears down, it leaves the second layer of teeth exposed. This layer is called dentin, and teeth were not designed to have the dentin exposed. When dentin is exposed, small tubules are also exposed, and these lead to nerves. This is what causes the pain you feel when you do not have enough enamel on your teeth. If this is the cause of your sensitivity, your dentist might recommend trying a few different things at home.

Things To Try At Home

The first thing your dentist might suggest is switching to a toothpaste that is designed for sensitive teeth. This type of toothpaste can actually help protect the teeth, and it works by helping to seal the exposed tubules in the layer of dentin. This can happen rather quickly, which means you might feel a difference in just a few days.

Your dentist might also suggest using a fluoride rinse. Fluoride is a mineral found in water and many dental products, and it is used because it has the ability to strengthen enamel. If your teeth still have some enamel on them, using a fluoride rinse could help strengthen it, and this could also help reduce your sensitivity.

Procedures Your Dentist Can Do

If taking steps at home still does not help you with this issue, your dentist can perform a procedure to help. One of the main ones recommended for this problem is dental bonding. Dental bonding is a material made of plastic and is used for a variety of dental procedures. It can be used to fix chipped teeth, or it can be used to fix a gap between two teeth. In addition, it can be placed over teeth to help reduce sensitivity.

It works great for this purpose, because it serves the same purpose as enamel. It protects teeth and covers the layer of dentin on teeth. It is also a cost-effective way to treat a problem like this.

If you are tired of feeling sharp pain when you eat hot or cold things, you should visit a dentist to find out what is causing this and how it can be treated. To learn more, contact a local dental clinic like Dental Associates PC.