While you may not recognize it, your teeth have feelings too. In fact, many patients suffer from sensitive teeth, which refers to teeth that are painful when they come in contact with extreme temperatures. Sensitive teeth are not always cause for alarm, but they do need to be addressed instead of ignored. If you started avoiding ice cream or hot coffee due to wincing tooth pain, it is time to let a dentist determine the cause.
The Role of Enamel
A healthy smile is a comfortable smile. When it comes to tooth sensitivity, it is often the enamel (outer layer) of the tooth that has been compromised. The enamel is what protects your tooth. If this hard layer wears thin or gets damaged, your tooth becomes vulnerable to pain and infection. The next tooth layer (dentin) has tiny pathways that lead to the centermost part of your tooth, called the tooth pulp. This is where your tooth nerves reside, so if bacteria or hot/cold temperatures reach this sensitive area of your tooth, your tooth reacts in pain.
What Causes Enamel Damage and Teeth Sensitivity
There are many reasons why you can have sensitive teeth due to compromised, weak or damaged tooth enamel. Some factors may be out of your control while other culprits may be a consequence of poor oral habits or lazy dental hygiene. Sensitive teeth can be a symptom of the following:
- Natural aging process (enamel wears thin)
- Enamel erosion from acidic drinks
- Gum recession (tooth roots are not covered by thick enamel)
- Untreated decay
- Chipped or cracked tooth
Treatment for Painful Smiles
At Elegant Smiles, we understand the value and necessity of pain-free teeth. If you are experiencing sensitivity within one or more of your teeth, we want to know. Depending on the cause of your sensitive teeth, we can offer treatments that can restore your tooth enamel and eliminate your tooth pain. Sensitive teeth can be solved with simple measures like using a special toothpaste or more extreme therapies like gum grafting. Let one of our talented dentists in Brookhaven evaluate your sensitive teeth today.