Tooth sensitivity is a painful reaction in one or more teeth, typically triggered when teeth are exposed to hot, cold, sweet, or sour foods and drinks, or cold air. This pain can be sharp, sudden and shoot deep into the nerve endings of your teeth.
Apart from a cavity, a cracked tooth, or a missing filling, the most common cause of tooth sensitivity is exposed dentin. Normally, the dentin (the second, more sensitive layer of the tooth) is surrounded and protected by enamel, cementum and gums.
There are a few ways that roots lose their protective covering. Over time, brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush may wear away enamel or cementum and cause the dentin to be exposed. Movement of gums away from the tooth due to periodontal disease can expose the root surface. Inflamed and sore gum tissue may cause sensitivity due to the loss of supporting ligaments, which exposes root surfaces. Grinding or clenching your teeth also may wear down the enamel and expose underlying dentin or inflame the nerve of one or more teeth from repeated trauma.
Instead of simply switching to a toothpaste for sensitive teeth and attempting other home remedies, you need to see Dr. Lopez. Sensitive teeth are indicative of a treatable problem. Delaying a trip to see Dr. Lopez for accurate diagnosis and treatment results in the problem advancing, pain possibly becoming acute, and restorative treatment becoming more extensive. It’s in your best interest to call immediately for an appointment.