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What are your sensitive teeth trying to warn you about?

Posted on 24.01.2013 by perfectsmile

sensitive teethSensitivity is a common cause of toothache and can be a warning sign of much more severe risks for one’s dental health

Tooth sensitivity is an uncomfortable feeling that causes toothache in one or more teeth. It’s a sharp, sudden and shooting pain which occurs when the dentin or the cementum of teeth is exposed along the gum line. The dentin is the soft material that supports the enamel of a tooth and forms the majority of it, whereas the cementum is the hard material coating the root of this tooth. When either of them is exposed due to receding gums, teeth respond to hot or cold temperatures or even to sweet or spicy foods with a very painful feeling known as sensitivity.

While tooth sensitivity is in fact a problem by itself, it can also mean more severe problems which will need rapid and thorough attention before evolving into severe conditions that can affect not only dental health but general wellbeing too.

There are various causes of tooth sensitivity:

  • Overzealous brushing can wear down tooth enamel, exposing cementum or dentine. Brushing with too much force or with a hard-bristle toothbrush can thus be harmful to the teeth.

  • Tooth grinding also wears away the enamel and leaves dentin exposure. Night mouth guards can prevent that from happening when suffering from stress induced grinding of the teeth.

  • Gum disease is, at the same time, a cause and a consequence of tooth sensitivity. Receding gums leave cementum and dentine exposed, while sensitivity can be a sign of a severe problem in the gums.

  • Tooth decay is one of the major causes of sensitivity. When someone neglects daily oral care routines, has noxious eating habits or forgets about dentist and hygienist regular check-ups, decay can rapidly affect their teeth easing the path to sensitivity and other serious risks.

Teeth sensitivity can have many effects on daily life, from causing important pain to impeding patients to eat and drink what they like. To prevent it, a good oral hygiene is essential. Use soft toothbrushes and floss or try also toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. When performing any cosmetic dentistry treatment such as teeth whitening, dental implants, sensitive teeth situations must be advised to your dentist so he can provide you with the adequate products to reduce it and prevent further problems.

It is necessary to remember that tooth sensitivity can be also a sign of more severe conditions like root canal infections, gum disease or dental cavities. For that reason, it is vital to pay attention to it and try to have an early treatment, particularly if you have to engage into other procedures such as braces or a teeth replacement, which can be affected by dental sensitivity and its consequences.

Tooth sensitivity is therefore a clear sign of a potential peril for your dental health and should not be overlooked.

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