With the months getting colder and colder, have you been indulging in some nice hot chocolate or coffee? These treats are great during the winter, but not if you take a sip and your teeth start hurting. 1 in 8 people deal with some type of tooth sensitivity, and it can turn enjoying your favorite hot or cold beverage into a painful experience. Why do you have sensitive teeth? Is it an emergency? Learn the answers from your local dentist.
What is Tooth Sensitivity?
All of your teeth are covered with a protective layer of enamel, while your roots are protected by cementum. Underneath these layers of protection is the sensitive inside part of your tooth, which is called dentin. Tooth sensitivity occurs when your enamel or cementum wears down and the dentin is exposed.
When you take a sip of hot coffee or a bite of ice cream, the exposed nerves in the dentin are coming into contact with extreme temperatures. This sensitivity can be in a concentrated area of your smile, or it could affect most of your teeth.
What Causes Sensitivity?
What causes your enamel and cementum to wear down in the first place? See some common causes below:
- Too many acidic or sugary foods and drinks
- Brushing your teeth too aggressively and using a hard-bristled brush
- Grinding your teeth at night
- Too much plaque buildup
- Over using whitening products with a high bleach content
The above causes are the most common factors that influence tooth sensitivity, but if you have extreme sensitivity, you may have heavy tooth decay, cracked teeth, or loose fillings. Contact your emergency dentist if you’re experiencing severe pain to get the treatment you need.
Tooth sensitivity is often the first sign that you’re headed towards a dental emergency. If you can see your dentist early on, a filling or another minor restorative treatment can do the trick. But, if you let your sensitivity persist, it could turn into a serious dental emergency like a toothache or even loose or lost teeth.
Are you tired of avoiding some of your favorite snacks and drinks because of your sensitivity? Now that you know some of the possible causes, get in to see your dentist to eat and drink with comfort.
Meet the Dentist
A graduate of Creighton University Dental School, Dr. Tim Stirneman brings 26 years of experience to every case he sees. He enjoys being able to provide patients comfort and relief in a relaxing office environment. He currently practices at Compassionate Dental Care in Lake in the Hills. If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity and want it to stop, he can be contacted through his website or by phone at (847) 854-7645.