Sensitivity in Teeth


     You take good care of your teeth and they feel fine except when you eat or drink something hot or cold.  When you start to savor that first cup of coffee or sip a refreshing cold glass of iced tea, the pain begins.  And you find yourself wondering “what’s going on?”

     This is one of the most common problems my patients tell me about.  Fortunately, though, there are ways to stop the pain and get back to enjoying the things you love.  The first step is making sure your pain isn’t caused by a chipped or cracked tooth or a cavity that is close to a nerve.  (Of course, that takes a thorough dental exam and probably an x-ray.)  If neither of these things is the problem, the chances are that your pain is coming from tooth roots that have become exposed.

     In fact, root exposure is the most common source of tooth sensitivity.  To understand how something as common as root exposure can cause so much misery, you need to know some tooth anatomy.  The part of your tooth that you can usually see in a healthy tooth is covered by a layer of enamel—the strongest substance in your entire body.  Below the gum line, a layer called cementum covers the root.  This layer isn’t as dense as enamel but if it’s well covered by your gums, the roots are protected.

     Beneath both the enamel and cementum is dentin and the dentin provides an actual pathway for pain in the form of thousands of tiny hollow tubes that lead directly to the tooth’s pulp and nerve.  So if your gums pull away from the tooth’s root, heat or cold can penetrate to the nerve and cause that sharp, sudden pain you’ve come to dread.

     And it’s not just hot and cold food and drinks.  Sweet, sour, and sticky things can make you miserable, too.  For some people, just breathing in cold air can cause pain.  Fortunately, this irritation of the nerve may not cause any permanent damage but it certainly can keep you from enjoying things you used to look forward to eating or drinking.

     As you can imagine, with a problem as common as exposed roots, there are several possible causes, including tooth grinding, plaque buildup, gums that have receded, aging, or even brushing too hard.  Tooth whitening products that contain baking soda and peroxide are major contributors to tooth sensitivity as is eating a lot of acidic foods.  Even some routine dental procedures can cause temporary sensitivity.  But unlike sensitivity caused by exposed roots, that type of sensitivity usually disappears in a few weeks.

     Taking good care of your teeth and seeing your dentist regularly can help prevent tooth sensitivity.  But if the sound of ice cubes tinkling in a glass of ice cold lemonade or the thought of fresh hot pizza already makes you wince, you don’t have to put up with the pain.

     Today, we can treat tooth sensitivity quickly, simply, and affordably with advanced compounds that bond directly to the roots of your teeth to seal and protect them.  It doesn’t work for everyone, but most people are delighted with the fast, long-lasting relief they get.  And if it doesn’t work for you, there’s no charge for the treatment.

     Sound good?  Then give us a call right now and start enjoying all those things you’ve been avoiding, pain free.

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