Have you ever been craving that perfect scoop of ice cream on a hot summer day? You grasp your cone with delight, taking a delicious and refreshing bite. That’s when it happens: you feel a strange, sensitive pain in your teeth. Tooth sensitivity is a much more common problem than you think. Around 40 million American adults experience this issue. So, what causes it? You used to be able to eat ice cream with ease, but now it brings you more pain than pleasure. Keep reading to learn the causes of your sensitivity from a dentist in Rocky River.
What is Tooth Sensitivity?
The inside of your tooth is mostly made up of dentin which is filled with tiny nerve endings. The hard outer layer of your tooth, enamel, protects the dentin within the crown portion of your tooth. There is also another protective layer called cementum that protects your tooth’s root. Dentin hypersensitivity or tooth sensitivity occurs whenever dentin loses its protective covering of enamel or cementum, leaving the tiny nerve endings in your teeth exposed. This is why eating hot, cold, or acidic foods can be uncomfortable.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Sensitive teeth can be caused by some of the following dental issues:
- Worn tooth enamel from brushing aggressively.
- Tooth erosion due to acidic food or beverages.
- Tooth decay or leaky fillings and broken teeth that expose your dentin.
- Gum recession that leaves your tooth’s root exposed.
- Grinding your teeth at night.
Although these are not all the causes of sensitivity, these are the most common. Talk to your dentist if you are experiencing any of the dental issues above.
How Can I Prevent Tooth Sensitivity?
Your first step is talking to your dentist and describing exactly what’s going on. Your dentist will be able to determine what’s triggering your sensitivity and treat the underlying cause. Treatment could be as simple as filling a cavity!
If you have a tooth sensitivity issue without an obvious cause, there are a few things you can do to help. Your dentist can provide an in-office fluoride gel treatment to strengthen the tooth enamel and reduce painful sensitivity. Additionally, you can purchase over-the-counter products like desensitizing toothpaste to block off the nerve endings of your exposed dentin. You can use this toothpaste on a regular basis and even rub it over the areas where you are experiencing sensitivity after brushing for extra relief and protection.
Are you tired of avoiding some of your favorite foods because of that unpleasant sensitivity when you take a bite? Now that you know some of the causes and ways to prevent this issue, speak to your dentist about the best treatment option for you.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. William L. Eick has been practicing dentistry for over 20 years. Needless to say, he is an expert in identifying and treating tooth sensitivity issues you may have. He is always advancing his knowledge about the latest dental techniques through continuing education courses to make sure his patients are receiving up-to-date treatments. He currently runs his own practice and can be contacted by phone at (440) 333-1915 for any questions.