Do you feel a jolt of discomfort when something cold or hot hits your teeth? This is a common oral health problem known as dental sensitivity that countless people suffer from. In fact, past studies have estimated that one out of every eight people in the United States has sensitive teeth. This issue can be the result of an even more serious problem or something as simple as genetics. That’s why it’s important to know the signs of whether or not you should visit your emergency dentist or just use toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. Read on to learn more about sensitive teeth and how you can tell if the problem warrants the need for urgent treatment.
What Are The Possible Causes Of Tooth Sensitivity?
There can be several different causes of tooth sensitivity, which can make it difficult to determine whether the issue is serious or not. If eating hot or cold items bothers you or brushing and flossing your teeth leaves you in discomfort, here are some reasons why:
- Severe tooth decay (cavities)
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Worn down or leaking fillings
- Gum disease
- Worn tooth enamel
- Not fully developed tooth enamel due to genetics
- Exposed tooth root
The outermost layer of your teeth, the enamel, acts as a protective shield for your teeth. Underneath the enamel lies the dentin, which is an incredibly sensitive structure that contains hundreds of microscopic pathways, called tubules, that alert the pulp inside of your tooth. This pulp contains nerves and tissues that react when they’re stimulated by the tubules.
How Can Sensitive Teeth Be Treated?
The best way to learn how to treat your sensitive teeth is to have them examined. Based on the findings of your dentist, they’ll be able to determine the root cause and create a treatment plan to take care of the problem once and for all. Here are some possible diagnoses and their treatments:
- Sensitive teeth can often be remedied with over-the-counter toothpaste made to strengthen the enamel and reduce sensitivity.
- Weakened enamel caused by genetic issues can be addressed with fluoride treatment to provide the dentin with additional protection.
- Tooth infections are usually a result of poor oral hygiene and typically cause severe toothaches that can be remedied with root canal therapy.
- Broken or damaged teeth that expose the inner, more sensitive layers, of your tooth can be protected with dental crowns.
When Should You Visit An Emergency Dentist For Sensitive Teeth?
If you’re experiencing persistent pain or discomfort due to your dental sensitivity, the chances that your issue requires emergency attention is high. The sooner you take care of an infection or damaged tooth, the less likely you are to experience additional damage that could cause you to need an extraction or other invasive procedures. So, if you’re ever in doubt, always contact your emergency dentist.
About the Practice
At Generations Dental Care, we offer the care and expertise of six dentists! During the COVID-19 crisis, we will be reducing our office traffic by only accepting emergency patients and postponing all elective procedures. If you’re worried about your oral health, our team offers 24/7 guidance and will walk you through any necessary first-aid steps to help ease your discomfort and reduce damage. For questions or to schedule an emergency appointment during these trying times, visit our website or call 603-225-6331.