Identifying and Preventing Issues with Tooth Sensitivity
It is quite common to hear people make reference to their sensitive teeth. Generally speaking, they are simply talking about the sharp or painful sensations in the teeth that may occur when consuming food or drinks that are either very cold or very hot, or perhaps when teeth collide into one another or are touched with the tongue. When speaking of tooth sensitivity, it is useful to understand the two categories of sensitive teeth: dentinal tooth sensitivity and pulpal tooth sensitivity.
Dentinal tooth sensitivity occurs when a tooth’s middle layer, otherwise known as dentin, becomes exposed. Under ideal circumstances, the dentin remains fully covered by enamel from the gumline upward and by cementum beneath. Dentin is made up of miniscule openings known as tubules, which in turn contain nerve branches stemming from the pulp of the tooth. Exposure of the dentin to extreme temperatures such as those experienced when drinking hot or cold beverages can lead to irritation of these nerves. Sensitive teeth are the end result.
Some of the most common reasons for exposure of the dentin include excessively vigorous tooth brushing, shoddy dental care that leads to tartar buildup, untreated decay, faulty fillings, tooth whitening processes, frequent consumption of acidic foods and drinks, and the simple wear and tear on the teeth that comes with age.
In cases of pulpal tooth sensitivity, only one tooth will likely be affected when its nerves and blood vessels are irritated. Common causes of this type of sensitivity include things such as ongoing tooth decay, untreated infection, recent dental work, cracks in the tooth, and pressure resulting from tooth grinding.
Family dentistry professionals characterize dentinal and pulpal sensitivity as being painful reactions to extreme temperatures, as well as pressure. Sensitivity to cold is most typical, and sensitivity to hot substances can indicate the need for root canal treatment. To diagnose tooth sensitivity, see a dentist in West Chester who will take x-rays, take a full dental history, and conduct an examination to identify decay or problematic fillings.
Fortunately, prevention techniques exist in family dentistry that can lower the risk of developing dentinal sensitivity and also alleviate existing symptoms of sensitive teeth, including twice-daily brushing and flossing, using dental care products formulated for tooth sensitivity, brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and seeking dental care for habitual tooth grinding. Pulpal sensitivity cannot truly be prevented, but, when necessary, prompt root canal treatment from a dentist in West Chester can eliminate the tooth sensitivity.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in West Chester, call Gentle Dental of West Chester today at (484) 643-4417 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in West Chester. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of West Chester, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of West Chester.