You’ve been there. Biting down into icy cold ice cream or a hot cup of coffee and you feel that jolt of pain or discomfort shoot through your teeth. Or you might find that you’re brushing your teeth and when you hit a certain tooth, you feel another shock of pain.
The most puzzling aspect of these symptoms is that they come and go quickly. You can’t explain the sensitivity and pain. Unfortunately, many people allow these symptoms to continue for years without seeking treatment due to the sporadic nature of the pain. However, it is important to go for an evaluation and seek out treatment for the pain because tooth sensitivity can indicate a serious condition such as tooth decay.[videoplay autoplay=”0″ videourl=’/sitevideos/AboutThePractice-HD.mp4′ cssclass=’center-video’]
What causes this sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity stems from weakened teeth that have lost their protective enamel. Enamel keeps the sensitive part of the tooth from outside elements. In a normal tooth, this part is protected from temperature and pressure so the person doesn’t feel any discomfort when drinking or biting down. With a weakened tooth, the enamel slowly wears down exposing the sensitive part of the tooth to air.
What factors contribute to tooth sensitivity?
There are many factors which can lead to sensitive teeth. One of the factors can be brushing with too much force so that the enamel wears down or using too hard of a toothbrush. Gum recession due to decay or vigorous brushing can also contribute to this sudden pain. Periodontal disease or gingivitis are also common factors in sudden discomfort with hot or cold liquids. A cracked tooth is a less common occurrence but can lead to sudden pain when the tooth is exposed to sudden temperature changes. With a cracked tooth, the nerve can be directly exposed leading to severe pain. Poor habits such as teeth grinding or jaw clenching can lead to worn down enamel. Using an acidic mouth wash for a long time can wear away at existing enamel. Sometimes following a professional deep cleaning procedure, the newly cleaned teeth may temporarily become sensitive. In order to best know the root of your pain you should visit your dental professional Dr. Weston Spencer.
How do I fight tooth sensitivity?
In order to best fight tooth sensitivity, you should keep up with preventative treatment, with routine visits to your dentist. Dr. Spencer offers screening and exams for patients who suffer from tooth sensitivity in La Jolla and Del Mar. He can examine the teeth for decay, cracks, or gum recession which may all lead to sudden sensitivity. In addition, he will help clean the teeth to remove any irritating debris.
However, if the tooth is chipped or the decay affects the roots, he may recommend further treatment to combat the deeper issues. He also recommends that if you suffer from sensitive teeth you change some of your habits, and ensure you have a good home dental hygiene routine. If you grind your teeth at night, you should invest in a dental guard that prevents unconscious grinding that might be wearing away at the teeth. If you are using an acidic mouthwash, he can provide samples of neutral mouthwashes that are equally effective and do not damage the outer protective enamel.
You should not ignore your tooth pain any longer, for the sake of your long term dental health. If you suffer from sporadic dental pain or ongoing pain, Dr. Spencer can help alleviate your pain. Call his Rancho Santa Fe office today at (858) 215-2153 to learn more about tooth sensitivity or complete the online form to make an appointment.