Tooth sensitivity is discussed as such a commonplace problem that there are many people who believe that they are normal if they have difficulty eating some of their favorite foods. To have sensitive teeth doesn’t mean you are “abnormal” at all. At the same time, it could be dangerous to your long-term oral health if you were to believe that sensitivity is a problem. What it may be is a symptom.
When we observe tooth sensitivity as a potential warning sign, rather than a condition unto itself, we are much better equipped to investigate what may be behind this slight discomfort. Some of the common culprits include:
- When eating loses its pleasantness and teeth ache or throb from certain foods and beverages, it is beneficial to look at the potential for cavities. A lot of the time, tooth decay need not be extensive for sensitivity to occur. The sooner that tooth decay is treated, the milder treatment can be, such as a small filling.
- Teeth can erode and are doing so at an alarming rate today. Erosion means that enamel is wearing away. Research indicates that this could result from our standard way of eating, which leans toward the acidic side of neutral. Erosion can make teeth look yellow due to the visibility of dentin; it also increases the risk of fractures. To fortify eroded teeth, make them look better, and minimize sensitivity, we may suggest porcelain veneers.
- Root exposure. The roots of our teeth are supposed to be covered fully by the gums. When the gums become inflamed, they loosen and recede away from tooth structure. This pulling-away opens the door for temperature changes to make a bigger impact, causing pain. Gum recession indicates a need for periodontal care. This may be a deep cleaning that removes debris from the space in between tooth structure and gum tissue. The root may need to be smoothed, as well, to allow the gingiva to attach more strongly.
Tooth sensitivity is a very common problem, but it is more often a symptom of something else, too. Don’t take sensitive teeth at face value. Call our McLean office for a thorough dental exam.