-Answers to the Top Three Questions
our Dental Hygiene Team is Asked-
Jon Frankel Dentistry, Toledo, Ohio
Why are my teeth sensitive?
There are a number of reasons teeth become sensitive.
Dental decay or cavities are actual holes in the hard tooth surface. These openings allow the sensations of hot and cold, air, sweet or acidic or touch to pass directly to the dental nerve. The dental nerve has one response, discomfort or pain. Left untreated, the opening will grow and continued exposure will irritate the nerve and the inner tooth may become infected.
Injury, daily use or simple everyday chewing can cause a tooth to fracture. Fractures can tiny and difficult to spot. A fracture may be another direct entry to the dental nerve and sensitivity.
The inflammation and infection associated with gum disease can be silent and not noticeable or the source of sensitivity, discomfort and pain.
The floor of the sinus is adjacent to the roots of the upper teeth. A sinus infection can cause teeth to be sensitive.
How the teeth touch together or occlude can also be a source of sensitivity. An imbalanced bite may contribute to discomfort of the entire tooth by irritating the nerve.
An imbalanced or misaligned bite and the subsequent pressure on an individual tooth or several teeth can cause recession of the gum tissue and exposure of the more porous root surface. Exposed root surface can be quite sensitive
When the gums have receded and the root surface is exposed, the border between the porcelain-like enamel and ceramic-like root surface is a weak point. This area is susceptible to wear especially if the bite is not corrected and or if scrubbed with a hard bristled toothbrush. A deep groove forms and can also be a source of sensitivity.
Do not just tolerate sensitive teeth. Co-partner with your Dentist to find the cause of your sensitivity. Once the source is discovered there are options to end the discomfort of sensitive teeth.