If you feel sharp pain on your teeth when you take a bite of ice cream or a drink of hot coffee, you should let your dentist know at your next appointment. This type of pain is referred to as tooth sensitivity, and it can affect people of all ages. Tooth sensitivity can the result of several things, but it is not something you have to live with. There are things you might be able to do at home to help with this, and your dentist might also have some options that may help you desensitize your teeth.
Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
Feeling sharp pain in your mouth from things that are hot and cold usually indicates that there are nerves exposed within your teeth. All of your teeth have roots and canals that lead to them, and these areas are full of nerves. The nerves in these areas sense temperature, but they should not be causing pain in your mouth. If they are, it is most likely because they are exposed.
The nerves in your teeth are protected by the enamel on your teeth. If your enamel is strong and healthy, you should not feel sensitivity. If you are experiencing sensitivity, the problem is most likely that the enamel has worn off on some or all of your teeth. This is the leading cause of sensitivity in teeth; however, sensitivity can also be a result of cavities, cracked teeth, and other problems with your teeth.
Your dentist will examine your teeth to determine why you are experiencing sensitivity, and this will help him or her know what to do to help you relieve this pain you feel.
Things You Can Do at Home for This
As long as you do not have any decay or other types of problems with your teeth, you might be able to solve this problem by making a couple changes in your lifestyle and care of your teeth. One option your dentist might recommend is switching to a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. There are several great brands of toothpastes you can choose from, and they all work in similar ways. The main way is by closing and sealing your teeth.
If you are missing some of your enamel, it means that the second layer of tooth is exposed. This layer is called dentin, and this is where you will find small openings that lead to the nerves. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth is able to close and seal these small openings, and this will eliminate the exposure of your nerves. This process does not happen overnight, but you should start seeing a difference after a few days or weeks of using this type of toothpaste twice each day. The dentist may also tell you to buy a soft-bristled toothbrush, instead of using a hard-bristled one. Hard brushes can lead to sensitivity, because they are too abrasive for your teeth.
What Your Dentist Can Do
If you try these options and are still having problems, the dentist could place a thin layer of composite resin over your teeth. This is the material used to fill in chips on teeth and cavities, but it can also be used as a way of protecting teeth. If the dentist applies this to your teeth, it will cover your teeth and the small openings that lead to the nerves. This will solve the problem, and it could even offer a way for you to have whiter teeth. Dentists can tint the material to any shade of white, so this could be a good solution if you want whiter teeth and teeth that are less sensitive.
If you have questions about your teeth and any problems you might currently be experiencing, click here to continue reading more about what a local dentist can do for you.