You bite into your favourite ice-cream dessert and a sharp shooting pain travels from your tooth up the side of your head. If it’s not the first time pain has emanated from a certain tooth, you may feel nervous chewing certain foods or drinking anything too hot or too cold. Waiting on tenterhooks for the next bout of discomfort, you’re left wondering if the increasing sensitivity is something to worry about and if a trip to the dentist is needed. Well, no tooth discomfort should go undiagnosed — especially if pain is gradually increasing and the tooth is becoming increasingly responsive to various stimuli.
Why Do Teeth Become Sensitive?
Tooth sensitivity is usually a condition that is associated with people over the age of forty – when years of clenching and grinding, extensive dental treatment, and general wear and tear have caused the protective layer of enamel to become thin, or in many cases to no longer cover the entire tooth. The neck of the tooth – the part where the root meets the crown, is particularly susceptible to the rigors of biting, chewing, grinding, and, of course, the bacterial destruction of plaque that commonly gathers at this location. Thinning of enamel or the complete loss of tissue in this area makes a tooth particularly sensitive as it is close to the nerve of the tooth, with only a layer of dentin for protection.
How To Treat Sensitive Teeth
Early intervention is recommended to prevent and control tooth sensitivity. Reducing exposure to acidic food and drink that speeds up the loss of enamel is essential to controlling a tooth’s reaction to stimuli. Because the thinning and erosion of enamel also increases a tooth’s risk for dental decay – staying away from acids in sodas, lemons, vinegars, and certain candy will help prevent the further destruction of tissue and lower the incidence of associated pain and discomfort. Your dentist may offer desensitizing treatments that help to harden and re-strengthen existing layers of enamel. This creates a barrier against temperature and food, and it provides teeth with a defense against decay. When tooth sensitivity is extreme and shows no sign of dissipating more definitive treatment may be provided to permanently address the condition.
If tooth sensitivity is causing you pain or discomfort, contact the team at Discover Dental today online or at (403) 285-0222