As the temperatures drop, you might find that breathing in cold air hurts your teeth. This condition, known as tooth sensitivity, happens when cold or hot sensations hit the nerves inside your teeth and cause considerable discomfort. Learn more about the causes of sensitive teeth and what to do about them.
Common Causes of Sensitive Teeth
Your teeth normally have a protective covering on them called enamel. This coating protects the visible part of your tooth, while a different protective layer known as cementum protects the part of your tooth that’s below the gum line. When one or both of these protective coverings are damaged or worn away, it’s easier for cold and other sensations to reach the nerves inside your teeth. This causes pain, such as when you breathe in cold air or drink a hot beverage.
There are several different causes of tooth sensitivity, including tooth decay and gum disease. These dental problems leave the inner part of your tooth more vulnerable to exposure, which increases your risk of sensitivity. Other possible causes of sensitive teeth include fillings that are worn down, cracked or fractured teeth and worn tooth enamel. You can also develop sensitive teeth if the root of your tooth becomes exposed.
Treatments for Tooth Sensitivity
If you notice that cold air, hot or cold beverages or other sensations cause your teeth to hurt, you should look into treatments for tooth sensitivity. There are different kinds of treatments available depending on what is causing your sensitivity. If you have mild sensitivity, you might just need to use a desensitizing toothpaste when brushing your teeth. This type of toothpaste stops sensations from reaching the nerves in your teeth.
Fluoride gel can also help reduce sensitivity. This gel, which is applied to your teeth during dental appointments, makes your tooth enamel stronger and less susceptible to eroding.
If you have cracked teeth, you might benefit from having a dental crown or inlay placed on it. These protect fractured teeth from sensations that can cause sensitivity. Crowns and inlays might also protect you from sensitivity if you have tooth decay that leaves the inner part of your tooth more exposed.
If you have tooth sensitivity due to exposed roots from receding gums, a surgical gum graft helps protect these roots. These gum grafts help replace gum tissue that you’ve lost, which decreases your risk of having sensitive teeth.
If none of these other forms of treatment are effective and you have severely sensitive teeth, you might need to have a root canal done. A root canal helps protect the inside of your tooth from sensations that could cause discomfort.
If you have sensitive teeth, please contact Premier Dental Care for an appointment. We’re now accepting new patients for pain-free sedation dentistry.