Experiencing a little tooth sensitivity after eating something cold or hot is normal. After all, a survey conducted across U.S. dental offices says that one in eight adults have sensitive teeth. But when should it be a serious cause for concern? When what you’re feeling verges on unbearable or if you’re suffering oversensitivity from more than just one tooth, it might be time to pay a visit to your dentist in Horsehead, NY or elsewhere. Tooth sensitivity might be a sign of an underlying dental issue that needs treatment such as the following.
Periodontal disease, which becomes more common with age, causes the gums to recede. The condition is even more aggravated if you don’t keep up with dental care. This, in turn, exposes the root surface, making the teeth more sensitive. If you have gum disease or any other affliction that affects the gums like gingivitis, your dentist can treat the underlying disease first to get rid of the sensitivity. They may also recommend sealing your teeth as an added measure.
Tooth whitening is one of the most common dental procedures done today to the point that whitening kits can now be bought over-the-counter and applied at home. As much as possible, however, you should only let a professional dentist whiten your teeth for you as doing it by yourself may lead to undesirable outcomes. For one, the whitening agents in the products you’re using may be too strong for you. You might also want to consider switching to a toothpaste that don’t have tooth-whitening chemicals.
When was the last time you set an appointment with your dentist for a routine cleaning? If it has been more than a year ago, the sensitivity you’re experiencing may be a side effect of plaque buildup. Plaque chips away your teeth’s enamel, causing it to be vulnerable. Scheduling a cleaning once every six months is ideal to prevent plaque from forming around your teeth. Also, brush regularly and floss preferably after each meal to remove food particles in between teeth.
Bruxism or involuntary teeth grinding at night can also wear down the enamel of your teeth, exposing the middle layer of the teeth called dentin. This is where the hollow tubes that connect to your nerves are located, which is why it becomes more painful the more you grind your teeth. If you’re a tooth-grinder, you can talk to your dentist about dental appliances that can help you break the habit. A custom-fitted bite guard can be made for you so you don’t do it in your sleep.
Even permanent fillings can weaken and crack after some time. When this happens, bacteria can take residence in the tiny crevices that form around the edges of the filling. As the bacteria continue to build up, the enamel is broken down. Fortunately, fillings are easily replaced within one visit. This is why it’s a good idea to come in for a checkup two times in a year or at least a follow up after the initial procedure.
If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, sensitivity may be the last of your worries. Patients with this condition experience pain that may be several times worse than normal sensitivity. You will need to go to a dental clinic so that a professional can evaluate your tooth and determine which treatment will work best for you. You may require a veneer or extraction depending on the severity of the issue.
Tooth sensitivity is treatable, but only with the right approach and the help of a professional dentist. Visit your trusted dental clinic so you can eat your favorite cold and hot foods again without worry.