Tooth sensitivity can be an uncomfortable and frustrating experience, causing a sharp twinge of pain when consuming hot, cold, acidic, or sweet foods. Understanding the root causes of tooth sensitivity is essential in seeking effective treatment and preventing further damage to dental health. In this blog, we will explore the various factors that contribute to tooth sensitivity and when to consult an emergency dentist for proper diagnosis and personalised care.
The Role Of Dentin And Enamel
Dentin, the material that forms the bulk of each tooth, lies beneath the protective layer of enamel. Enamel, the hard outer covering of the tooth, shields the dentin from external stimuli.
The root of the tooth under the gum line is protected by cementum, and the gums offer further defence. However, when the protective layer is compromised, the dentin becomes vulnerable to stimuli, leading to tooth sensitivity.
Brushing Too Hard
Using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing aggressively can gradually wear down the enamel over time. Moreover, forceful brushing may cause gum recession, exposing the sensitive root of the tooth and exacerbating sensitivity.
Acidic And High-Sugar Diet
Frequent consumption of acidic and sugary foods and beverages can erode tooth enamel, making the dentin more susceptible to sensations. Items such as soda, coffee, tomato sauce, candy, refined carbohydrates, and citrus fruits are common culprits in enamel erosion.
Certain mouthwashes containing alcohol or harsh chemicals can contribute to enamel erosion with long-term use. The acidity in these mouthwashes weakens the enamel, increasing tooth sensitivity.
Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
Grinding or clenching the teeth, whether during sleep or throughout the day, can lead to gradual enamel wear, exposing the dentin and causing sensitivity. Addressing bruxism is crucial to prevent further damage to the teeth.
Gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontal disease can cause inflammation and recession of the gums. This exposes the tooth roots, leading to heightened sensitivity.
Frequent Use Of Whitening Products
Tooth-whitening products, while effective in brightening smiles, may contain chemicals that are harsh on enamel. Prolonged use of such products can lead to enamel erosion and increased sensitivity.
Chipped or broken teeth provide an entry point for bacteria to penetrate the dentin, causing pain and sensitivity. Prompt dental attention is necessary to prevent further complications.
Recent Dental Procedures
Certain dental procedures, such as professional cleanings, crown placements, fillings, and tooth restorations, may cause temporary tooth sensitivity. This sensitivity usually resolves on its own within a few weeks.
Signs Tooth Sensitivity Is Turning Into A Dental Emergency
- Sudden and severe, sharp pain in the tooth
- Persistent tooth sensitivity lasting for more than a day or two
- Swelling or inflammation around the affected tooth
- Prolonged sensitivity even after avoiding trigger foods
- Pain that radiates to the jaw or ear
- Visible cracks or chips in the tooth
- Bleeding or discharge from the affected tooth or gums
- Development of a pimple-like bump on the gum near the sensitive tooth
- Difficulty in eating, chewing, or speaking due to sensitivity
- Increased sensitivity accompanied by fever or other systemic symptoms.
Tooth sensitivity can significantly impact one’s quality of life, making it essential to identify the underlying causes and seek appropriate treatment. Maintaining good oral hygiene practices, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and avoiding excessive consumption of acidic and sugary foods can help prevent enamel erosion and reduce sensitivity. However, the most crucial step is to consult a dentist to determine the exact cause of tooth sensitivity and receive personalised care and recommendations.
Remember, a proactive approach to dental health can alleviate tooth sensitivity and promote a confident, pain-free smile. Your emergency dentist can be your best ally in safeguarding your oral well-being and ensuring a lifetime of strong, healthy teeth. Get in touch with us at Emerdency today. Whether you need an emergency dentist in Wigan or Liverpool, we’ve got you covered!