Tooth sensitivity is a very common problem that can be treated effectively with different products and techniques. It occurs when gums have receded or tooth enamel is worn down to reveal the sensitive parts of the tooth.
Why are my teeth so sensitive?
The sensitive parts of the tooth have been exposed due to damage to the enamel or recession of the gums. The enamel on the outside of your teeth, the hardest substance in your body, protects the inner sensitive part of your teeth. Sometimes this enamel gets cracked, worn or decayed. Your gums also protect the sensitive roots of your teeth by forming a tight seal where the gums meet the teeth. Gums sometimes recede from their natural position and expose the roots of the tooth. Typical causes for this recession are gum disease, or even just brushing teeth too hard and vigorously.
If the enamel is worn or damaged, or the gums recede, the dentin layer of the tooth is exposed. The dentin is not as hard as enamel, and it contains pores and small tubules that lead to the soft sensitive center and nerve of the tooth. These tubules allow cold and heat to reach the nerve, causing hypersensitivity and shooting pain. Sensitive teeth can be painful when one drinks hot and cold liquids, eats cold foods like ice cream, and even when one breathes cold air.
What can I do about sensitive teeth?
If your brushing is forcing your gums to recede, you need to discuss proper brushing technique with us to prevent further damage. Special toothpastes can help sensitive teeth by either desensitizing the tooth or by filling the tubules in the dentin that are exposing the nerve. These toothpastes typically take at least a month to work. Visit the dentists at our Middletown office, Brandywine office, or Hockessin office of Dental Associates of Delaware for a thorough examination and for a recommendation of products.
How can Dental Associates of Delaware help my sensitive teeth?
We will give you a thorough examination to discover the cause of your sensitivity and address ways to prevent further damage. In the case of gum recession, this may be instruction on proper brushing, or treatment for gum disease. To treat damaged enamel, our dentist can use a filling, or dental bonding or a crown to create a new surface for the sensitive tooth. Visit us at Dental Associates of Delaware for a thorough examination and treatment.