Have you ever taken a bite of ice cream and wanted to scream? Is that sip of coffee in the morning is becoming more painful?  You just may have sensitive teeth.

What is Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity can affect a single tooth or your entire mouth as the sudden pain shoots deep into the nerve endings of your teeth.  Typically, it occurs when you eat or drink something hot or cold.

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

In healthy teeth, a layer of enamel protects the crowns of your teeth, which is above the gum line. Under the gum line a layer called cementum protects the root of your tooth. Underneath both the enamel and the cementum is dentin.

Dentin is less dense than enamel and cementum and contains small hollow tubes.  When dentin loses its protective covering of enamel or cementum, the nerves and cells inside the tooth are exposed to the surrounding elements.  Dentin may also be exposed when gums recede.  This means hot or cold foods or even something sweet or sour can reach the nerves and cause pain.

Prevent Sensitive TeethPossible Causes of Sensitive Teeth May Include:

  • Tooth decay or cavities
  • Worn out tooth enamel or fillings
  • Fractured teeth
  • Plaque buildup
  • Periodontal (Gum) disease
  • Acidic foods

The good news is sensitive teeth can be treated.  Toothpaste for sensitive teeth can help, but as with anything else, you want to visit your local dentist. Special toothpaste may help with the pain, but your dentist can find the cause of the pain and help correct the issue from the source.