Have you ever bit into something cold or taken a sip of something hot and felt a surge of pain course through your teeth? If so, you’ve experienced teeth sensitivity and know how debilitating it can be. While it can be frightening, you’re not alone. Many people in the United States deal with teeth sensitivity on a regular basis, both children and adults alike.
The reason that people experience this is because of the general anatomy of a tooth. Your tooth and your crown, which is the area of the tooth that’s above your gums, have three different layers. The innermost layer is called the pulp, which is comprised of a number of different nerves and blood vessels. The next layer is called the dentin. This is made up of a material that’s similar to the composition of your bones. The final layer, which is the layer that we can see, is the enamel. It is the hardest substance in your body, but it isn’t indestructible. Your diet and dental habits can affect the strength of enamel, which is why protecting your teeth is so important.
One of the main reasons for teeth sensitivity is an exposed nerve. The nerves from your pulp have tiny endings that run through the dentin and out on the surface, just below your enamel. When your enamel starts to wear down, it exposes these nerve endings. This is why sometimes you’ll feel pain when you eat something very cold or very hot. Exposed nerves can be excruciatingly painful and often require a visit to your dentist.
Exposed nerves aren’t the only things that can cause teeth sensitivity. Another common one is root exposure. Root exposure occurs when there isn’t enough enamel to protect the underlying roots of your teeth, which is beyond your nerves. This happens when you start to experience receding gums due to over brushing, grinding your teeth, or a lack of proper dental hygiene. If you get a cavity, your root can also be exposed and cause pain.
The main way to avoid teeth sensitivity is to protect your teeth. If you’re frequently dealing with sensitivity, the first step is to change your toothbrush. Opt for one that has softer bristles to reduce the damage that your gums are incurring. Ask your dentist about a sensitive toothpaste and mouthwash and avoid eating excess sugar. You may also benefit from taking on a more alkaline diet, as acid tends to wear down your enamel quickly. If you’ve been dealing with teeth sensitivity, talk to our dentists at Artistic Dental. We have a number of ways to help mitigate teeth sensitivity, such as fluoride varnish, dental restoration procedures, desensitizing products, or even a gum graft. To learn more about how we can help you keep your teeth in great shape and reduce sensitivity, call us today at 602-840-5400.