If a sip of hot coffee or a bite of ice cream sends a jolt of pain through your teeth, you could be suffering from tooth sensitivity. This sensation often signifies a larger dental problem and should not be ignored. You shouldn’t avoid your favorite food or drinks because of excruciating symptoms. Your dentist can examine your teeth to determine the cause of this issue. In the meantime, Dr. Caleb Robinson, a dentist in New Philadelphia, OH, provides more information about tooth sensitivity.
What causes tooth sensitivity?
The full name for the condition of sensitive teeth is dentin hypersensitivity. The jolt of pain that occurs with this condition is caused by exposed dentin interacting with a stimulus, usually temperature-related. Dentin is a deep layer of your tooth covered by enamel. When enamel is eaten away, thinned, or weakened, dentin is vulnerable to the elements your mouth experiences throughout the day. Dentin features direct pathways to the nerve, hence the immediacy and intensity of the pain when touched. Dentin exposure can be caused by:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Broken teeth
- Worn fillings
Treatment for tooth sensitivity can differ depending on the cause of the symptoms. In any case, you should schedule a dental appointment so that your dentist can advise you on the best course of action for treating this condition.
Can I treat symptoms at home?
In many cases, mild tooth sensitivity can be treated from your home. Your dentist may recommend desensitizing toothpaste that can be prescribed or purchased over the counter. The ingredients in this toothpaste can block nerve endings in your teeth so that a stimulus will not cause pain. It will take a few uses of this toothpaste to relieve symptoms, as multiple layers of the ingredient are needed to protect the surface of your teeth.
What if those treatments do not work?
More severe cases of tooth sensitivity may require intervention from your dentist. A cavity could be causing this pain, which will need to be filled by a dental professional. Ignoring a cavity allows tooth decay to advance and continue to eat away at your enamel. Advanced gum disease can lead to recession of the gums, exposing more of your teeth. Your dentist may recommend surgical intervention to cover this vulnerable area of your teeth with gum tissue. Broken teeth or worn fillings will both require restorative dental solutions, such as a crown. The dental crown will cover the exposed tooth and protect it from further harm and tooth sensitivity.
Schedule a dentist appointment today in New Philadelphia, OH
Dr. Robinson can treat tooth sensitivity and other dental concerns for patients in New Philadelphia, OH. Our practice also offers general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry services for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment or consultation with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 330.269.5805.