Do you wince when you take a bite of something hot, cold, or sweet? If so, you may be one of the millions of Americans experiencing sensitive teeth. This issue can impact your quality of life, causing you to limit the foods and beverages you enjoy.

Sensitivity in teeth occurs when dentin, the middle layer, is exposed. Usually, your gums cover the dentin, which contain tiny tubules that house the nerve branches leading to the nerve center of the tooth. If the dentin is uncovered, your tooth, or teeth, becomes sensitive.

Several factors can bring about tooth sensitivity, including:

  • A worn out filling
  • Cavities that need treatment
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Improper brushing that can wear down the enamel
  • Poor oral home care, which allows tartar build up
  • Receding gums
  • Whitening your teeth

Sometimes, people experience pulpal sensitivity, which generally affects a single tooth and occurs because of damage to the pulp, or nerve center. Because the symptoms can be similar to general tooth sensitivity, your dentist will need to examine your teeth and possibly get an X-ray to determine if you have any decay.

For general sensitivity, you can take several steps at home, including gently brushing teeth, using a soft brush, selecting fluoride toothpaste, and getting treatment for teeth grinding. Your dentist may also recommend toothpaste specifically designed to lessen sensitivity in teeth. Treatment for pulpal sensitivity usually involves removal of decay and/or root canal therapy.

Schedule a dental cleaning appointment today at our Bingham Farms dental office.