Enjoying a warm cup of coffee, or a scoop of velvety ice cream is almost impossible if you have sensitive teeth. Fortunately, you can prevent the discomfort this condition brings by knowing what causes sensitive teeth.
The tooth is composed of three main layers. Enamel is the outermost covering of your teeth. Known as the hardest material throughout your body, it serves as your tooth's first line of defense against acids and wear and tear. It ensures that the crowns of your teeth remain intact throughout your lifetime. Beneath the enamel, you will find a layer known as the cementum. It protects the tooth roots below your gum line. Lastly, beneath the cementum, you will find your tooth's most crucial layer, the dentin. Physically, it is considerably less dense than the cementum and enamel.
A closer look at the dentin reveals interesting facts. Dentin has microscopic tubules indicated by the holes throughout its surface. When the dentin is exposed, these tubules become mediums through which hot or cold foods stimulate the nerves within the tooth. When this happens, you may experience hypersensitivity whenever you breathe through the mouth, drink cold or hot beverages, or chew food. Thus, caring for your tooth enamel is the key to prevent dentin exposure, and having sensitive teeth.
Activities that speed up the wear and tear of the enamel, or cause gum recession will most likely lead to sensitive teeth. Unfortunately, some of these habits may seem harmless at the onset. If you are someone who likes to use mouthwash frequently, you might want to reconsider. Depending on formulations, most mouthwashes have higher percentages of acidic ingredients that will only make you, and your sensitive teeth more miserable. Take a closer look at the ingredients of your toothpastes, and other tooth whitening products. Stay away from acidic substances like peroxides.
Other activities or conditions that may lead to sensitive teeth are the following:
- Poor dental hygiene.
- Use of hard-bristled tooth brush.
- Brushing your teeth aggressively.
- Frequent consumption of acidic foods like citrus fruits and tomatoes.
- Cracked tooth.
Aside from adopting good oral hygiene, have your teeth checked by your family dentist in Annapolis, MD for any of the following:
- Tooth cracks
- Worn sections of tooth enamel.
- Worn tooth fillings.
- Exposed tooth roots often resulting from aggressive brushing, recession of the gums, or periodontal disease.
- Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease.
While the effects of sensitive teeth can cause significant discomfort, it is good to know that this condition can be treated. Treatments range from simply using desensitizing toothpastes, to more complex in-office treatments. Take note that treatment is not one-size-fits-all. The most suitable treatment will largely depend on the root cause of your tooth sensitivity.