What Causes Tooth Sensitivity
Most people have probably experienced tooth sensitivity at some point in their life, and many people deal with it on an ongoing basis. The outer layer of the crown (exposed part) of a tooth is enamel, the hardest substance in the body. Beneath that is dentin, a much softer substance. In the middle of the dentin is what is called pulp, which lead to the nerves. When hot, cold, or sweet food reaches the dentin, it sends a signal to the pulp, which triggers pain. There are a number of reasons that people would experience it.
Tooth Decay: One of the primary reasons people experience tooth sensitivity is from tooth decay, more commonly referred to as cavities. These holes in our teeth cause access to the dentin beneath the enamel. The same applies to teeth whose enamel is just worn down over time. They need to be filled or a crown placed over them.
• Fractured Teeth: Caused by trauma or weakened teeth, these fissures can trigger the pain sensation. These teeth need to be sealed.
• Worn Fillings: Old fillings can wear down and expose the original hole or can just be so thin that they no longer provide insulation. These need to be replaced.
• Gum Disease: Bacteria can attack the gums, and since the unexposed part of the tooth has no enamel, the bacteria can get to the dentin directly. The gum disease need to be treated.
• Exposed Tooth Root: If not take care of properly, gum can slowly recede as we age, sometimes caused by brushing that is too aggressive. Again, since there is no enamel below the original gum line, the dentin becomes exposed. This can be handled by a surgical gum graft or a dental bond.
Tooth sensitivity can be eliminated across the board by having root canal therapy, where the pulp is removed from the inside of the teeth. This process prevents the pain sensors from even receiving the signals.
An important way to avoid getting tooth sensitivity is to get a regular dental exam, where our dentist can spot potential problems before they become worse.
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