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What Is Tooth Sensitivity & Do I Have It?

HomeOral HealthWhat Is Tooth Sensitivity & Do I Have It?

blonde woman holds her cheek with tooth sensitivity

How do your teeth feel when you drink hot or cold liquids, brush and floss, or consume something sweet, sour, or acidic? If you experience any discomfort or pain, you most likely have tooth sensitivity. This is fairly common. There are a handful of treatments for sensitivity, so it’s important to check in with a dentist if you’re experiencing it. But first, what is tooth sensitivity?

Tooth Sensitivity: Exposed Dentin

Every tooth has three main layers: enamel, dentin, and pulp. Healthy enamel acts like a hard shield, protecting your teeth and nerves from damage. However, enamel can wear down. Acidic foods, hard-bristled toothbrushes, and aging all cause wear-and-tear. When your enamel thins, the dentin layer is exposed. Dentin is more sensitive than enamel, so certain actions (like drinking something cold) cause discomfort or even sharp, temporary pain. Sweetness, sourness, and changes in pressure can also provoke that uncomfortable feeling.

Other Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitivity can be the result of something other than thinned enamel. Tooth cavities, chipped teeth, gum disease, and certain dental treatments can cause discomfort. There might be other symptoms like throbbing pain, pain in only one area of your mouth, or swollen gums, but that’s not always the case. Even if you’re only experiencing sensitivity, don’t ignore it. Sensitivity is often the first sign that something is going on with your oral health. This is why it’s important to visit our office so we can diagnose the problem.

Treating Tooth Sensitivity at Edgewater Dental Arts

Treatments include toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth, alcohol-free mouthwash, softer toothbrushes, or in-office fluoride gel. We’ll also treat any specific causes for your sensitivity, whether it’s a chipped tooth, decay, or something else. To preserve your enamel, maintain good oral hygiene at home and come in for regular preventative care. Our team is committed to high-quality treatment at our Edgewater office. Please contact us for an appointment!

Written by

John Cutting, DMD is an Annapolis dentist experienced in all aspects of dentistry. He provides complete care from general dentistry to cosmetic and restorative dentistry in his conveniently located and comfortable office, Edgewater Dental Arts.