Over 30% of Americans experience tooth sensitivity when eating or drinking certain foods. More often than not the cause is exposed tooth dentin. Found under a tooth’s enamel, dentin transmits sensations like pressure and temperature, which is usually dampened by the enamel, gums and roots before it reaches the nerves.
Dentin becomes exposed through over-aggressive brushing or periodontal gum disease which cause the gums to shrink back, exposing the dentin along the gum line. This results in an increased sensation and signals pain when you eat or drink something hot or cold. Enamel erosion caused by mouth acid from dental plaque can also expose dentin.
After pinpointing the cause of your tooth sensitivity, we can begin to treat the cause. We treat gum disease by removing plaque from the tooth and gum surface, which will help control gum recession. You can help reduce your sensitivity by applying less pressure when brushing and/or use a toothpaste with added fluoride to strengthen enamel.
To learn more about tooth sensitivity, ask Dr. Sheehan or one of our hygienists.