Have you ever bit into a cold or sugary treat and felt a jolt of pain in your tooth? This excruciating sensation is known as tooth sensitivity. Though jarring, the feeling can be intermittent. So you might feel unsure about how to deal with this dental concern.
Keep your dentist in the know of any changes in your oral health, including sensitivity pain. Read on to find responses to five frequently asked questions about tooth sensitivity and what this symptom means for your oral health.
Why Do My Teeth Feel Sensitivity Pain?
Tooth sensitivity occurs when the enamel, the outermost layer of your tooth, erodes or wears down, leaving underlying dentin exposed. If a stimulus touches this dentin, it will react with the nerves there, sending pain signals to the brain. This pain, which will fade in the absence of the stimulus, is what dentists refer to as tooth sensitivity.
What Dental Issues Cause Tooth Sensitivity?
Enamel can erode for many reasons, including some outside of a patient’s control, like medication side effects and aging. But several dental problems may also hurt your tooth enamel. Cavities or chips and cracks in the teeth may leave you experiencing tooth sensitivity symptoms.
Is Tooth Sensitivity a Dental Emergency?
Tooth pain of any kind is abnormal. Though you may only feel tooth sensitivity on occasion, you should not have to suffer through it.
Call your dentist as soon as you can about this symptom. They can provide swift treatment with an emergency dental appointment to alleviate your discomfort before your next routine visit. It may also point to a larger dental problem that could require urgent care, so you should get this checked promptly.
Can My Dentist Treat Tooth Sensitivity?
Your dentist can help you relieve tooth sensitivity pain. The treatment will depend on the underlying cause of this issue. Minor cases of sensitivity can be resolved if the patient uses desensitizing toothpaste. This toothpaste will block exposed nerves so they will not send signals to the brain to make you feel pain.
Your dentist may also treat cavities and other dental problems that may cause sensitivity pain. Once these issues are gone, tooth sensitivity should cease as well.
More severe cases of enamel erosion might need a dental crown to replace the enamel and shield dentin from stimulation. Schedule an evaluation with your dentist to find a treatment that will best suit your needs.
Can I Prevent Tooth Sensitivity?
Enamel might erode, leaving you with sensitive teeth, due to poor oral habits. To protect your smile, you should practice good oral hygiene to remove plaque from your teeth before it leaves lasting damage. You might want to also limit the amount of acidic or sugary foods you eat, as these substances could also lead to enamel erosion.
Continue visiting your dentist for routine check-ups so that they can thoroughly clean your teeth and examine your smile for early signs of dental dangers. They can treat these issues before you feel discomfort.