Tooth sensitivity, no matter the severity, can get in the way of a lot of your daily tasks (especially eating). Whether you’re experiencing sensitivity that comes and goes, is constant, or only occurs around extreme temperatures, you may have an underlying dental problem. Tooth sensitivity is unfortunately common and certainly uncomfortable. In fact, over 40 million Americans have suffered from tooth sensitivities at one time or another – can you believe it? Although treatable, there are several different conditions and issues that could cause such sensitivity – so you can plan to visit your dentist soon!
The Causes Behind Tooth Sensitivity
When tooth decay infects your tooth, it begins wearing through the enamel. Once it’s broken through to the inner structure of your tooth, the dentin becomes exposed and can cause sensitivity.
Gum recession often occurs with gum disease – another dental infection. When bacteria infect your gum tissue, it recedes and can even expose the root surface of your tooth. Your tooth may then become sensitive, especially to extreme temperatures.
Bruxism, teeth grinding or clenching, can actually cause sensitivity. In severe cases, the pressure applied on your teeth can cause excess wear, damage tooth enamel, or even crack, chip, or break a tooth – and unfortunately, it often causes sensitivity.
How Can You Treat Your Sensitive Tooth?
The first step to finding a treatment is to visit your dentist – as with any dental condition. Your dentist will ask questions about the discomfort you’re experiencing and examine your mouth to determine the cause of your sensitivity. Then, it’s as simple (or not so simple) as treating that cause. With bruxism, this could mean an oral appliance – or with tooth decay, you may need a filling.
Don’t wait to call your dentist when you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, it’s not likely to get better on its own.