If you notice pain, tingling, or other unusual sensations in one or more of your teeth after eating or drinking certain foods and beverages, you might have tooth sensitivity. Depending on the reason and severity of your symptoms, your tooth sensitivity may be temporary or permanent. Here are some causes of tooth sensitivity and some effective treatment options that your dentist may recommend.
Causes Of Tooth Sensitivity
One of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity is enamel erosion. Also called acid erosion, this condition is typically caused by consuming large amounts of acidic foods and drinks such as citrus fruit, tea, coffee, and orange juice. Acid reflux can also cause tooth sensitivity as a result of acid erosion. When you have acid erosion, your enamel can become very thin, exposing the dentin and nerves of your teeth. Broken teeth and abscessed teeth can also cause tooth sensitivity. Further, certain dental procedures and gum disease can also raise your risk for dental sensitivity.
Neurological conditions such as those that cause inflammation to your cranial nerves can also cause tooth sensitivity. Before dentists can recommend effective treatment options for tooth sensitivity, they need to perform oral examinations that often include bite-wing x-rays. In some cases, a simple bite-wing x-ray, where you bite down on a piece of plastic or cardboard before the x-ray, may be inconclusive. In these cases, dentists may recommend an x-ray that takes panoramic pictures of your mouth and jawbone.
Treatment Options For Tooth Sensitivity
Sensitive teeth can often be treated by using toothpaste that is specially formulated to strengthen tooth enamel. Limiting your intake of coffee and other acidic drinks and foods can also help reduce your dental sensations if you have tooth sensitivity. If you have nerve exposure as a result of an injury, dental decay, or a broken tooth, repairing the tooth will help relieve your symptoms.
If acid reflux is the reason for your dental sensitivity, taking your prescribed medications, avoiding trigger foods, losing weight, and not smoking will help manage your reflux and may subsequently ease your tooth sensitivity. Acid reflux can cause stomach acid to reflux into your throat and mouth and if the acid makes frequent contact with your teeth, erosion of your enamel may occur.
If you have tooth sensitivity, make an appointment with a dentist. Once the cause has been confirmed, a treatment plan will be recommended to help strengthen your enamel and relieve your symptoms.