If you experience pain whenever you try to enjoy a bowl of ice cream or take a sip of hot chocolate, you probably have sensitive teeth. It goes without saying that tooth sensitivity can be very painful on its own, but could it also point to a larger problem? There are many oral health issues that include tooth sensitivity as a symptom, and if you don’t have your teeth checked quickly, you might eventually end up suffering from even worse forms of dental damage. Read on to learn everything you need to know if you ever find yourself with sensitive teeth.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
Your teeth can be considered sensitive if they experience pain whenever you eat or drink something that’s particularly hot or cold. You might also feel sharp discomfort while brushing. Normally, the sensitivity comes from the tooth roots becoming exposed in some way. Common causes include:
- Tooth enamel that has become worn down over the years.
- Gum recession exposing the sensitive roots of the teeth
- Untreated tooth decay that has resulted in a sizable cavity
- A cracked or otherwise damaged tooth that was never repaired with a crown or another type of restoration
- Dental fillings that have become worn over time
- Certain oral health problems like gum disease
If your tooth sensitivity can be linked to decay, gum disease, or dental damage, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible in order to prevent further problems.
Is Tooth Sensitivity Considered an Emergency?
Whether or not your tooth sensitivity is an emergency depends on the root cause of the problem. As soon as you realize something unusual is going on with your teeth, you need to schedule an appointment with your dentist so that they can figure out the underlying cause of your tooth pain. If there is an urgent problem, they can start making plans to treat it right away before it grows more severe.
How are Sensitive Teeth Treated?
The type of treatment you receive will depend on your unique circumstances. In mild cases, you may only need to switch to desensitizing toothpaste that stops the nerves in the tooth from sending pain signals to the brain. You may also undergo fluoride treatment to strengthen your enamel. In the event that your tooth has been damaged, you might receive a crown or another type of restoration. A gum graft can be used to cover exposed tooth roots. Root canal therapy might be required in particularly severe cases.
The important thing to remember is that emergency or not, there’s no need to live with sensitive teeth; the sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you’ll be able to get back to living pain free.
About the Author
Dr. Robert E. Christensen has been bringing quality dental healthcare to his hometown of Midland since 1979. He has completed a number of advanced training courses in restorative dentistry, allowing him to help all kinds of patients suffering from sensitive or aching teeth. To schedule an appointment for tooth pain, visit his website or call (432) 684-7424.