|Dr. Alan Wishneff D.D.S.
Restorative Dentistry / Oral Health
September 1, 2014
When someone has sensitive teeth, the most likely culprit is exposed dentin. Dentin is the tissue that makes up the core portions of each tooth. There is a protective layer called enamel that covers the dentin. When enamel wears away or decays, the dentin will become exposed and become receptive to sensations, like pain. Dentin exposure and sensitivity can also occur when the roots become exposed due to gum recession.
Tooth sensitivity is also known as dentin hypersensitivity. Sensitivity is commonly felt after eating cold or hot foods, drinking cold or hot liquids, or breathing in cold air. Dentin hypersensitivity can also be caused by:
- Brushing the teeth too hard, because it can wear away the enamel on the teeth.
- When there is gum disease present.
- Cracked or chipped teeth.
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth.
- Medical conditions like bulimia can expose the dentin.
- Diets that have a lot of acidic foods and drinks can also expose the dentin. The chemicals in these foods dissolve the enamel over time.
- Some tooth pastes have abrasive ingredients that can wear away the enamel.
If your teeth become highly sensitive for more than three or four days and they react to hot and cold temperatures, it is best to go and see your dentist for an examination. Your dentist will be able to gauge the severity of the sensitivity by using an air test. The dentist will spray air across the teeth to help pinpoint the exact location of the sensitivity. Your dentist will also examine your teeth, look for causes of sensitivity, and make treatment recommendations. If sensitivity is associated with clenching and/or grinding, your dentist can recommend a mouth guard. Dentists have a variety of treatments for dentin hypersensitivity. Products for home use include desensitizing toothpastes and mouth rinses. In-office procedures include application of desensitizing agents or protective sealants.
One of the easiest ways to prevent tooth sensitivity from occurring is to maintain proper oral hygiene practices. Try to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as you can. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. When brushing, use a soft bristled toothbrush. This won’t wear down the enamel as much as a hard bristle one will. Also watch what you eat. Try to avoid acidic foods and drinks.
For more information about this topic or any other dental topic, contact Dr.Wishneff at [email protected] or call (561) 488-3111. Dr. Alan Wishneff is a Boca Raton Dentist dedicated to bringing patients state-of-the-art dental care. As a cosmetic, family and restorative dentist, he helps patients enjoy a natural and healthy smile. He is trained in cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers; advanced cosmetic bonding techniques; oral surgery; medical emergency procedures; advanced crown and bridge; advanced TMJ; implant dentistry; endodontics-root canals: utilization of most advanced dental materials. Dr, Wishneff and staff are dedicated to providing great smiles in Boca Raton for more than 30 years. After more than two decades of practicing dentistry in Boca Raton, Dr. Wishneff is more committed than ever to this community.