Winter of 2022 has arrived! The month of January is notoriously cold, and because of the cold weather, it's not uncommon to feel a sharp pain in the gums or the roots of a tooth... or two. Exactly what does that imply, and why is it occurring? Tooth sensitivity is the most common answer.
Exactly what is tooth sensitivity?
A reaction to hot or cold temperatures can cause pain or discomfort in the teeth. If we lose our teeth' enamel, expose the dentin, or if our gums recede, the nerves' layers will be exposed. This is what causes it to happen. If the discomfort persists, it could turn into a chronic problem. It can affect a single tooth or a group of teeth.
What causes tooth sensitivity, then?
There could be several reasons for this:
- Tooth decay (dental caries/cavity) results from acid attacks on tooth surfaces by bacteria in our mouths. If left unattended, a cavity in your tooth can become infected. A tooth abscess is a medical term for this.
- Cracked teeth: Chipped or broken teeth become filled with bacteria from plaque and start to enter the pulp, which causes inflammation.
- Grinding or clenching your teeth can wear down the enamel on your teeth over time if you do it frequently. This results in the dentin beneath the surface becoming exposed.
- Brushing too hard can wear down the enamel and expose the dentin over time, as can brushing too roughly or with a hard-bristled toothbrush (use a soft one!). Gum recession can be exacerbated by using a hard toothbrush.
- The high acid content in certain foods can also cause our teeth to become sensitive. Some foods, such as citrus fruits, sour candies, and sour pickles, tomatoes, pickles, and tea, can wear down the enamel.
If you're experiencing tooth sensitivity, it could be due to an undiagnosed condition. One of the possibilities is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) (GERD). GERD is a type of acid reflux disease that affects individuals who struggle with it on a regular basis. The acid that constantly flows into our esophagus can wear away tooth enamel over time. So keeping an eye out for things that could harm our teeth is critical.
If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity schedule an appointment with Dr. Polin.
Dr. Polin will check to see any potential problems and catch them while they’re small. Remember, cavities and tooth cracks often show up on x-rays long before we feel that they’re there.
Do not be alarmed. Having sensitive teeth is quite common, but you can manage it. What is causing your sensitivity will determine the type of treatment you receive. Several over-the-counter options can help alleviate your discomfort if your sensitivity is mild. Changing your toothpaste, for example, can have a positive impact. Always use toothpaste designed for people with sensitive teeth. These will contain desensitizing ingredients that work to alleviate pain. An excellent toothpaste for sensitive teeth is Sensodyne. Sensitivity can also be treated by:
- For sensitive teeth, an alcohol-free mouthwash will be less abrasive. Fluoride is a common main ingredient in mouthwashes because it helps strengthen the enamel and reduce sensitivity. These are also an excellent option, particularly for children.
- In the event of tooth decay, a filling must be placed in order to restore the tooth's shape and function. To further protect the tooth, a crown is then placed on top.
- A surgical gum graft may be necessary in cases where root exposure is the source of sensitivity. To fill in the gaps, soft tissue is harvested from another area of your mouth. Your oral surgeon will consult with you to determine which type of gum recession you have so that they can make the best treatment recommendation for you.
Keep up with your daily dental hygiene if you have sensitive teeth. Everybody can get it, and it's extremely common. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, fluoride mouthwash, and floss daily to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Because our smile is the first thing people notice about us when we take off our masks, it's absolutely necessary that we take care of our teeth.