Tooth sensitivity is tooth discomfort after eating cold or hot foods or liquids or even breathing cold air. This problem often happens when gums recede and/or cementum is not present.
Dental hypersensitivity affects 45 million adults in the United States and 10 million are chronically affected with sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity is any degree of tooth discomfort after eating cold or hot foods or liquids or even breathing cold air. This problem often happens when gums recede and/or cementum is not presence. The gum tissue acts like a protective blanket to cover the roots of the teeth. As the gums recede the underlying tooth roots are exposed. They are not covered by hard enamel. Thousands of tiny dentinal tubules or channels leading to the tooth’s never center or pulp of the tooth are than exposed. These tubules allow more stimuli like heat, cold or pressure to reach the nerve in the tooth and cause pain.
What is tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is discomfort felt in the teeth after eating cold or hot foods or liquids or even breathing cold air. Hypersensitivity affects millions of Americans. This problem most often occurs as a result of receding gums and/or diminishing cementum. The gum tissue around your teeth acts much like a protective covering over the roots of the teeth. Therefore, as gum tissue recedes, the underlying roots are exposed. These roots are not covered by hard enamel like the exposed structures of the tooth. Once the roots of the teeth are exposed, the tiny channels located in these roots which lead to the nerve center of the tooth are also exposed. These channels allow stimuli such as heat, cold, or pressure to reach the nerves more easily, causing pain and discomfort. This process can also occur if the hard enamel or dentin protecting the more sensitive portions of the tooth are worn down or broken.
What causes tooth sensitivity?
Dr. Daniel Mishaan of the Midtown Dental Group has treated many patients who suffer from chronic tooth sensitivity and recognizes that this condition can be caused by any of the following:
- Brushing too hard.
- Poor oral hygiene
- Tooth whitening procedures
- Cracked teeth
- Grinding your teeth
- Enamel erosion by acidic foods
- Recent dental work: Root planning, crowns, fillings, etc.
Proper oral hygiene is the best way to combat receding gum lines and enamel erosion. Proper oral hygiene not only requires good brushing and flossing habits, but also the use of proper dental products. Make sure your toothbrush bristles are not too hard for your gums, you are brushing with a steady but gentle stroke, and you are using products certified by the American Dental Association.
What should I do if I have tooth sensitivity?
If you have sensitive teeth, your first step is to make an appointment with Dr. Mishaan or a dentist in your area. A dentist can evaluate your problem and give you more information on your specific case, advise you on ways to reduce the problem, or suggest dental procedures to treat the disorder. A busy schedule is no excuse for neglecting your well being. In order to accomodate our patients- we are open Sunday through Friday, from 8am until 8pm.
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