Ice cream and smoothies are a sweet way to reward yourself for a busy day until tooth sensitivity robs that opportunity. One out of eight Americans has a tooth sensitive to cold.
Dentinal hypersensitivity or tooth sensitivity is a common dental condition and anyone can have it through unhealthy habits or as a side effect of another condition or treatment.
What causes tooth sensitivity to cold?
Dentin is the sensitive soft layer of our tooth next to tooth enamel. It covers the tooth pulp where our nerves and blood vessels are located. Once it gets exposed due to weakened tooth enamel, you’ll start to experience tooth sensitivity. Here are the common culprits of tooth sensitivity due to damaged tooth enamel:
Untreated tooth decay
One of the symptoms of tooth decay is tooth sensitivity. The early onset of tooth decay starts with a small hole or scratch on your tooth enamel which can’t be visible to the naked eye. Once the bacteria gets through the enamel, your dentin will be exposed to the extreme temperatures of what you consume, sometimes even to cold air. Thus, resulting in tooth sensitivity.
Aggressive brushing and using a toothpick
While brushing and flossing is a good habit to keep. your brushing technique would be the next crucial step. Aggressive brushing using a hard-bristled toothbrush can scratch the surface of your tooth enamel. Bacteria will then grab the opportunity to break down your enamel and cause sensitive teeth and tooth decay.
While toothpick is widely used to remove food debris after meals, your dentist may recommend opting for dental floss. A toothpick can be too hard for the tooth enamel and cause scratches on its surface. Your tooth enamel may look sturdy but it can’t repair itself unlike the other parts of our body.
Bruxism or teeth grinding
Bruxism or teeth grinding is another way we react to stress. While most of us do it occasionally, patients who work in a highly-stressful environment or suffering from anxiety are prone to teeth-grinding.
Your clenched jaws add more pressure to your bite and gradually wear down your upper and lower teeth. When the enamel breaks from the constant force of teeth grinding, your dentin becomes exposed and causes teeth sensitivity.
Cracked or chipped tooth
Due to injury or using your teeth as a tool can lead to a cracked or chipped tooth. Even with a small crack on the enamel, tooth sensitivity can occur. You also become at risk for tooth infection since bacteria can access the inner layers of your tooth through the cracks on your teeth.
Exposed tooth root
The tooth root is the part of your tooth below the gum line. It contains the nerves and blood vessels and is protected by a layer of cementum. When the gum or cementum gets damaged, the tooth roots are exposed to everything you eat. Thus, leading to tooth sensitivity.
Gum recession, teeth grinding and smoking are some of the leading causes of exposed tooth roots.
Due to concentrated hydrogen peroxide, teeth whitening treatments can cause temporary tooth sensitivity. The whitening solutions used in both professional and over-the-counter whitening treatments can weaken and remove minerals from your tooth enamel which leads to tooth sensitivity.
However, by drinking fluoridated water and fluoride-rich foods and beverages, the minerals in your tooth are replenished in no time.
How Locust Family Dentistry can help
Nobody deserves to endure the pain of tooth sensitivity. Locust Family Dentistry provides restorative services in Locust to save our patients from the perils of tooth sensitivity. We provide:
- Tooth fillings
- Fluoride treatments
- Dental bonding
- Home care advice (desensitizing toothpaste)
Bring back the joy of eating ice cream and sipping a hot brewed coffee by scheduling an appointment now. Improving your oral health is not only about having bright and white teeth but also for you to enjoy tasting new flavors and eating your favorite meals.