You can experience tooth sensitivity when the enamel of your teeth starts to thin. Or when nerves in your teeth become exposed. You may feel pain only when you drink hot or cold liquids. Or it could take place any time you chew.
If tooth sensitivity comes on suddenly, it may be a dental emergency or at least an urgent dental issue that shouldn’t be ignored.
Either way, at Dental Care Today PC – E. Dale Behner DDS we can identify the cause and treat it if it’s dental-related. If we can’t treat the underlying condition, we can refer you to a specialist.
Tooth sensitivity can be caused by:
- A cavity
- Gum recession
- A chipped, cracked, or broken tooth
- An abscess
- Thinning enamel due to teeth grinding, bulimia, acid reflux, an acidic diet, vaping, or a bite impairment
- Teeth whitening treatment
Of course, the treatment for tooth sensitivity depends on the cause.
If you experience sudden tooth sensitivity, schedule an appointment at Dental Care Today PC – E. Dale Behner DDS. Dr. Behner will determine the cause of the sensitivity. If the sensitivity is due to thinning enamel, Dr. Behner will recommend an over-the-counter desensitizing toothpaste. A high-fluoride toothpaste formulated for tooth sensitivity reduces tooth pain after several applications. However, some patients may need in-office procedures such as fluoride gel treatments.
If the sensitivity is caused by an abscess or a cavity, we will take care of that issue as well. We perform root canals, fillings, and inlays/onlays.
These habits can weaken or diminish your tooth enamel:
1. Chewing on hard foods
We’re looking at you Bone-in ribs and hard candy.
2. Chewing on hard items
This includes fingernails, pencils, pen caps, and ice.
3. Grinding your teeth
If you grind your teeth, counsel with your dentist. An appliance can guard your smile. Then seek appropriate treatment for the underlying cause. Dr. Behner can recommend medical professionals that specialize in treating teeth grinding.
4. Eating too much sticky food
Gummy candy, dried fruit, and even protein bars can crack teeth.
5. Drinking anything besides water frequently
If your teeth are bathed in soda (sugared or diet), juice, coffee, or sports drinks habitually, you are asking for dental issues.
6. Playing sports without a mouthguard
Sports pose a major risk of tooth damage. Most children are required to wear a protective mouthguard on the playing field. But fewer adults wear mouthguards for recreational activities like mountain biking and skiing. Stock types are ready-made and rarely fit well. Custom-fitted mouthguards from your dentist are more comfortable than the cheap boil-and-bite type.
7. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush
A hard-bristled toothbrush can weaken teeth and cause gums to pull away. Brush away food bits and plaque with a soft (or extra-soft) toothbrush.
8. Ignoring dry mouth
Saliva is important. Saliva is necessary to neutralize acids and rinse bits of food off of teeth. It also helps clean the teeth of leftover food bits, helping to prevent plaque buildup. Constant dry mouth, or xerostomia, can lead to tooth decay. Talk to your dentist if you have dry mouth repeatedly.
9. Using teeth as tools
Take a minute to find a pair of scissors before you tear open a package of lunch meat or pry the lid of a medicine bottle. Use a nutcracker if you are eating unshelled nuts. A quality dental crown can cost over eight hundred dollars.
10. Ignoring bad breath
Bad breath is often associated with bacteria build-up in the mouth. It might be a symptom of accelerating tooth decay. Discuss it with your dentist. (Don’t be embarrassed. We treat bad breath all the time.)
11. Ignoring jaw pain
If you experience frequent jaw pain or notice a clicking sound, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately! These symptoms can be signs of a serious condition called temporomandibular disorder or TMD.
Is it too late? Have you already broken or chipped a tooth? We can repair it at Dental Care Today PC – E. Dale Behner DDS. There are a number of restorative and cosmetic dental treatments for chipped or cracked teeth.