What You Should Know About Sensitive Teeth from Our Castro Valley Dentist
Tooth sensitivity is estimated to affect about half of the population at some point during their lifetime, making it a serious concern of our Castro Valley dentist. We see quite few cases of sensitive teeth in our new and current patients, so we want to share with you everything you need to know about this condition, what causes it, how to prevent it in addition to explaining your treatment options.
What Is Tooth Sensitivity and What are the Symptoms?
Also known as dentin hypersensitivity, this painful condition occurs when the protective tooth enamel erodes and/or the gums recede. The lack of enamel exposes the cementum which causes the sensitive dentin tubules within the teeth to fill with fluid. This effects nerve endings in the root system that cause the teeth to be especially sensitive to certain exposures including:
- Foods and drinks that are particularly hot or cold.
- Acidic or sweet drinks and foods.
- Taking a breath of chilly air or breathing with your teeth closed.
- Discomfort when brushing your teeth or chewing.
Tooth sensitivity may come and go over time, but there are certain causes that you can ultimately avoid to reduce incidents.
Causes, Prevention, and Treatment of Sensitive Teeth
Our family dentist in Castro Valley believes that if more patients understood the causes of tooth sensitivity that they could avoid the condition altogether. The factors you most need to address are the causes of what makes the enamel and cementum wear away, and finding ways to avoid them. Our dentist in Castro Valley CA explains these following common causes and ways to avoid them.
Improper Brushing and Rinsing: While it’s important to get all of the debris off of your teeth with regular brushings, you don’t want to brush your teeth too vigorously or with too much pressure to prevent enamel removal. Our dentist may recommend using special toothpastes and oral rinses with natural ingredients that are designed for sensitive teeth.
Tooth Erosion or Fractures: Cavities due to tooth decay, worn fillings, root canal issues and fractured teeth are often due to enamel erosion and typically cause tooth sensitivity. In many cases of erosion or broken teeth, highly acidic foods and beverages, acid reflux disease or eating disorders are to blame. We can offer you a brush on fluoride varnish to help minimize discomfort and prevent from future cavities. Stick with a low acid diet and get treatment from a doctor if you have reflux or suffer from an eating disorder.
Periodontal Disease: One of the most common conditions of the human mouth can result in tooth sensitivity when left untreated. Commonly called gum disease, this causes enamel erosion and often allows the gums to recede beyond their normal placement, exposing sensitive nerve endings connected to the teeth. Proper brushing and flossing is the best prevention. However, if you’ve lost gum tissue at the root, a surgical gum graft may be necessary to protect those roots and prevent tooth pain.