A sensitive tooth is not always a big problem and can simply be from dietary acid corroding the gum line. At OptiSmile, you’ll learn that this can easily be treated by changing the way you eat or drink certain things and by using a special toothpaste.
If your tooth hurts for 30 seconds or more when you drink something warm or eat ice-cream, it’s quite possible that you have a hole or fracture in a tooth. This could deteriorate if not attended to right away.
The part of your teeth that is above the gumline, are covered with a layer of protective enamel, while the roots below your gumline are protected by a material called cementum. Underneath the enamel and cementum is dentin, which is less dense than the protective coverings. The dentin contains microscopic canals called dentin tubules, and when enamel or cementum wears away or becomes damaged, it exposes the dentin. When your gums recede and expose the dentin, the tubules allow fluid to flow into them and are affected by heat and cold when can cause the nerves in the tooth to have sensitivity and pain.
Why would the enamel or cementum wear away?
However, with extremely sensitive teeth, the more likely causes are those that expose more dentin, such as:
Because extremely sensitive teeth are frequently caused by a more complex dental problem, it’s important to come into OptiSmile and have the issue treated directly in chair. This may involve a crown, fillings or veneers, depending on the problem. If you have gum disease that has progressed to a more advanced stage, you’ll need this treated as well.
If you have lost gum tissue from the root, a surgical gum graft may be recommended to cover the roots so they’re protected again. If you have persistent and severe sensitivity, an x-ray should be taken to determine if a root canal could be the issue, which removes the nerve so it’s no longer there to cause you pain.
It’s no surprise that you should avoid hot and cold foods, which could trigger tooth sensitivity. But you should also avoid sweet foods and foods that are very acidic, such as fruit juice, soft drinks, sour sweets, sports drinks, alcohol, and pickles – yes, pickles! The acids in these foods, together with the sugars that turn to acids in your mouth, erode your tooth enamel and make sensitivity worse.