Sensitive Teeth: It may not be What You Think!
- Posted on: Oct 30 2017
Tooth pain of any degree can be downright frightful. Even mild sensitivity can evoke a few unsettling feelings. At the same time, though, we are often reassured about tooth sensitivity in commercials and ads that tell us we can feel more comfortable as we sip our coffee or iced tea if we use a certain toothpaste for sensitive teeth. This kind of marketing presents sensitivity as a primary condition. This isn’t always accurate. In many cases, in fact, sensitivity is a symptom of a potentially larger concern.
The Symptom of Sensitivity
It is important to consider what could be behind tooth sensitivity. Otherwise, the opportunity to avoid extensive damage – and pain – could be missed. Sensitivity could signal:
- When a small area of a tooth is softened by acidity, this spot will eventually become a hole. Even the onset of a cavity can incite heightened responsiveness from the nerves of that tooth. Therefore, the sensitivity that occurs “out of the blue” should be evaluated. A professional cleaning and conservative preventive care, such as dental sealants or topical fluoride, may resolve the issue before it reaches the next stage of decay.
- Historically, the wearing down of enamel due to acidity has been explained as tooth decay. Erosion is different. This widespread deterioration of enamel is no different than the erosion we see on a weather-beaten rock face. It occurs as a result of acidic foods and beverages that leave residue on teeth. The decrease of thickness in enamel reduces the buffer between stimulus and nerves inside the tooth. Once enamel is gone, it does not grow back. To minimize sensitivity, and strengthen eroded teeth, porcelain veneers may be recommended.
- Receding gums. The gums are not typically associated with the teeth outside of the important detail that gum tissue holds teeth in place. Beyond this vital function, gums also provide protection to the sensitive root segment of each tooth. When gums pull away from the base of a tooth, that root is more vulnerable to temperature changes and other stimuli. To improve comfort, a periodontal cleaning may be needed. Depending on the degree of recession, more advanced gum therapy may be recommended.
We can help you put sensitivity to rest. Call our Beverly Hills office at 310-276-4537.
Posted in: General Dentistry