The Signs And Symptoms Of Tooth Sensitivity
To get right to the point, tooth pain happens when the nerves in your teeth become irritated. Normally, our teeth are covered in a protective layer of enamel. On the inside, there is a layer of material called dentin and then the pulp at the core of the tooth which is filled with connective tissue, blood vessels and the nerve of the tooth. If enamel becomes too thin or there’s a breach exposing the dentin, the nerve is no longer protected. Tooth sensitivity is most commonly caused by any number of practices or conditions that erode or damage tooth enamel.
The many ways that tooth enamel can become damaged:
- Drinking or eating acidic foods and beverages– especially before bed.
- Skipping routine tooth care including flossing!
- Brushing aggressively or using a hard toothbrush.
- Attempting to use professional dental tools at home.
- Health issues (like bulimia or acid reflux) which expose teeth to stomach acid.
- Untreated gum disease and gum recession.
- Damaged, cracked or chipped teeth.
- Dental cavities (especially if left untreated).
- Using tobacco products, cannabis products or vaping.
- Grinding or clenching your teeth.
- Overuse of some teeth whitening products.
What Can You Do About Sensitive Teeth?
The initial and crucial action to take when faced with dental pain or discomfort is to schedule a visit to the dentist. This allows us to eliminate other potential underlying causes of your tooth pain and propose suitable treatments for any identified damage or decay during the appointment. By obtaining a formal diagnosis, you can proceed with confidence, knowing that you are on the right path. Let’s now delve into the entire process:
Figure out the underlying cause
We will refrain from making any assumptions. During your examination, you will be kindly requested to describe the sensitivity you experience and its frequency. It is possible that new X-rays will be needed, and the dentist will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth and gums. Additional diagnostic tests such as the tap test or cold test may also prove beneficial in reaching an accurate diagnosis.
Treatment in the office
Teeth suffering from damage or decay can be addressed through various restorative options, ranging from common fillings to more intricate procedures like crowns. If you have worn down enamel, there are potential home treatments, and in-office procedures may also be available. We will thoroughly explore all your options with you, and ultimately, the decision will be yours to make. Your input is of utmost importance in determining the best course of action.
As you’ve observed, tooth sensitivity can stem from various potential causes. After a comprehensive dental examination, your dentist will be able to pinpoint the exact reason for your sensitivity. Based on your specific needs, we can provide you with personalized tips and tricks to strengthen your enamel at home and effectively prevent future tooth decay.
Contact us today
to schedule an initial consultation & exam.
Your consultation will include an examination of everything from your teeth, gums and soft tissues to the shape and condition of your bite. Generally, we want to see how your whole mouth looks and functions. Before we plan your treatment we want to know everything about the health and aesthetic of your smile, and, most importantly, what you want to achieve so we can help you get there.
Frequently Asked Questions
Swap out your toothbrush for one with soft bristles. Remember to brush twice a day using desensitizing toothpaste and take care to gently clean along the gumline. Don’t forget to floss regularly and use a fluoridated mouthwash. Minimize the consumption of acidic and sweet foods and drinks, such as coffee, soda, wine, and fruit juice, especially before bedtime. If you notice yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, try practicing mindfulness or other relaxation techniques to alleviate the strain on your jaw. For a lasting resolution to sensitive teeth pain, it’s essential to visit the dentist so we can identify the root cause once and for all.
In certain situations, enhancing your dental hygiene practices at home can effectively halt tooth sensitivity. When you maintain a clean oral environment to prevent further erosion and decay, your enamel has the potential to heal. Fluoride treatment can significantly aid this healing process. However, it’s important to be aware that dental pain serves as a natural indicator that something may be amiss and requires investigation. If your enamel has suffered significant damage or decay, leading to the exposure of dentin, you could be at risk of developing an infection or abscess. Prompt attention and professional evaluation are crucial in such cases.
Stress can have an indirect impact on tooth sensitivity. When individuals experience heightened stress, they may inadvertently neglect their regular oral care, consume more sweet or acidic treats, or increase their smoking habits. Moreover, stress can lead to teeth grinding or clenching, which is sometimes done unconsciously, even during sleep. These factors collectively contribute to tooth sensitivity and potential dental issues.
The foods we consume can have a significant impact on our dental health. Acids present in various foods can wear down the protective enamel of our teeth. Additionally, sweet and starchy foods promote the growth of bacteria in our mouths, which produces acidic byproducts that further erode enamel. It’s essential to be mindful of acidic foods like coffee, wine, fruit juice, and tomatoes, as well as sweet treats like chocolate, caramel, and sugary items, including soda and juice. Simple starches like donuts, cake, and cookies can also pose risks to our enamel. Furthermore, caution is needed when consuming hard foods like ice, hard candies, and foods with pits or hard kernels like popcorn and olives. While you don’t need to avoid these foods altogether, it’s important to exercise moderation and maintain regular dental hygiene practices, especially before bedtime, to safeguard your dental health.
When considering your dental health, opt for beverages, snacks, and meals that are low in acidity and sugar. Incorporate high-fiber foods and dairy products, as they promote saliva production and are beneficial for your teeth. Strive for a well-rounded, nutritious diet rich in protein and calcium. Here are some tooth-friendly food options to enjoy:
Drinks: Water, green tea, black tea.
Snacks: Raisins and nuts, celery and carrot sticks, apple slices, cheese.
Main Courses: Stir-fries, salads, wraps, meat and potatoes with a side of veggies.
Desserts: Yogurt, ricotta and berries, apple sauce.
By choosing these tooth-friendly options, you can contribute to better dental health while still savouring a delicious and varied diet.