Understanding the Basics of Sensitive Teeth
At one time or another, almost everyone has experienced sensitive teeth. In most cases, this is a sudden, painful sensation that may arise while eating or drinking things that are excessively hot, cold, or maybe even sweet. The key to knowing how to help sensitive teeth and gums involves distinguishing between dentinal sensitivity and pulpal sensitivity.
Tooth sensitivity known as dentinal 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. Tooth sensitivity is the end result.
Some of the most common reasons for exposure of the dentin include excessively vigorous tooth brushing, poor 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 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 teeth grinding.
Dentinal and pulpal sensitivity are both characterized by 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 sensitive teeth, a dentist will take x-rays, take a full dental history, and conduct an examination to identify decay or problematic fillings.
Fortunately, proper dental care techniques, including twice-daily brushing, flossing, use of products formulated to treat sensitive teeth, use of a soft-bristled toothbrush, and seeking treatment for habitual teeth grinding, can lower the risk of developing dentinal sensitivity and also treat existing symptoms. Pulpal sensitivity cannot truly be prevented, but prompt root canal treatment when necessary can eliminate its symptoms.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Capitol Heights, call Dental One Associates at Steeplechase today at (240) 392-3983 or make an appointment.
Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Capitol Heights. With 11 affiliated practices throughout Maryland, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates at Steeplechase, 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 Dental One Associates at Steeplechase.