Whether you’ve just taken a sip of hot coffee or you’re eating a spoonful of soup, you can’t get past the weird tingling sensation that’s emitting from your teeth. While this doesn’t necessarily hurt, it’s enough to make you feel uncomfortable. In other cases, this sensitivity can turn into tooth pain if not managed properly. That’s why your dentist in Loveland is prepared to explain to you exactly what it is and how you can take care of it at your next dental visit.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity occurs when extreme external stimuli reaches the dentin layer of your teeth. The dentin layer covers the nerves in your tooth, acting as an additional layer of protection from the foods and drinks you expose it to. That’s why every time you drink that hot coffee or tea, you’ll feel sensitivity. This also occurs when you eat or drink very cold substances like iced water or ice cream.
Dentin contains tubes that run from the outside of the tooth to the nerve in the center. If you’re afraid that your dentin has become exposed or if you just feel sensitivity in general, you’ll want to mention it at your next dental visit. This is because the sensitivity could indicate that a cavity or gum disease is present.
How Did This Happen to My Teeth?
The most common cause of sensitive teeth is worn tooth enamel or erosion. This can occur either through chronic teeth grinding or due to frequent exposure to acids in the foods and drinks you eat. It can also occur from:
- Gum recession
- Tooth decay
- Leaky fillings
- Post dental treatment (i.e. after getting crowns, fillings, and teeth whitening done)
Sensitivity is common after dental treatments and typically goes away after a day or so. However, tooth sensitivity that occurs after drinking very hot or cold foods is a sign of wearing tooth enamel. Sensitivity that occurs even during normal chewing or when you’re not chewing anything is a sign of a bigger problem. This should be addressed by your emergency dentist in Loveland right away.
Are There Treatments for Sensitive Teeth?
The treatment for sensitivity largely depends on what your case is. For example, if you have a cavity that’s causing it, a dental filling can be placed to protect your teeth and reduce discomfort. However, if it’s because your tooth’s dentin has become exposed, ask your dentist about the following treatments:
- Using a fluoride varnish, foam, or gel. These are typically applied via a brush or mouth tray.
- Through a dental bonding agent which can be used to seal the dentin surface, acting as a barrier to external stimuli.
To prevent your tooth enamel from wearing further, consider purchasing a custom nightguard from your dentist if you grind your teeth at night. If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity on a daily basis, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Loveland today to get it treated!
About the Author
Dr. Ryan Koenig earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Nova Southwestern University. To prevent further tooth enamel wear, he offers fluoride treatments which work to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce the risk of cavities. To learn more about his practice, contact him at (720) 458-6401 or visit his website.