I was wondering what causes tooth sensitivity? Also, is this an urgent issue? Do I need an emergency dentist appointment?
– Hope in Virginia
Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common concerns people have. The sensitivity varies from person to person and is wide-ranging in terms of urgency and seeking out emergency dentist care.
The main reason that an individual deals with sensitivity is because some of the underlying tooth tissue called the dentin is exposed. When the tooth’s enamel wears away or decays you may notice some irritation, sensitivity, and in some cases a toothache. Another issue that leads to increased tooth sensitivity is when the gums have receded. Many are more prone to the effects of sensitivity when eating or drinking something hot or cold. The change in temperature sometimes sends a zing. Others have sensitivity to breathing in cold air, or from dental tools at an exam where air is used to dry or clear a particular area.
Causes may include brushing the teeth too hard. Over time hard brushing can break down tooth enamel. Or consumption of highly acidic foods and drinks like soda, sugary energy drinks, or citrus fruits can wear down the tooth’s enamel. A chip or crack can expose the dentin too. Some patients may not realize it but they may grind or clench the teeth during sleep. This can add to the stress that teeth endure. Another culprit are those whitening toothpastes or abrasive toothpastes. These can also add to your tooth sensitivity.
If your sensitivity progresses into pain or a dull ache or throbbing, you may be in need of a root canal treatment to save the tooth. This may mean that the decay has reached the inside of the tooth and the nerve endings are dying in the pulp of the tooth. Don’t put this off. Schedule an emergency dentist appointment today if you are experiencing any of these symptoms or notice a small abscess or pimple on your gums near the aching tooth.
This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.