You dig into a creamy, chocolatey bowl of ice cream and feel a sharp pain in your tooth. What is happening?
You are the victim of sudden tooth sensitivity. There are a few reasons this might be happening to you. You also have options for treatment. Plus, this issue is entirely preventable.
The American Dental Association explains that most sudden tooth sensitivity is a result of the loss of enamel. Enamel is the protective coating on the outside of your teeth. It helps shield the nerves in your teeth from anything you eat.
When you have worn enamel, it leaves that nerve exposed. Cold or hot food and drinks can hit the nerve and cause pain. Your tooth enamel may wear away naturally, due to decay, or be a result of bad dental habits.
You may also have tooth sensitivity due to gum disease that leaves nerves exposed or due to a broken tooth or damaged filling, which can also expose the nerve.
If you have a dental issue, such as receding gums, a cavity, or a damaged filling, then you will need to see your dentist so that he or she may fix the root problem. If you don’t have an underlying issue, you can try toothpaste for sensitive teeth. It helps to block the sensations to the root. Do note it will take several uses to see any results.
You may also get a fluoride treatment in your dentist’s office. It helps to strengthen the enamel and reduce the sensations to the nerves.
If your issue persists and is causing enough pain that it bothers you regularly, the dentist may perform a root canal. This involves removing the root and will stop any sensitivity problems.
The top way to prevent sudden tooth sensitivity is to brush regularly and take good care of your teeth. See your dentist every six months for a cleaning and exam. Make sure you floss or use a water flosser to remove debris between teeth at least once a day, as well.
Make sure you avoid brushing too hard as this can damage enamel. You can regularly use sensitive teeth toothpaste or toothpaste with fluoride to cut down on sensitivity. Your dentist may offer you desensitizing paste or sealants, which help to strengthen your enamel.
You may also benefit from some corrective measures. Braces can help align your teeth and bite, or a mouthguard can prevent teeth grinding, which wears away at the enamel.
If you get your teeth whitened or use whitening at-home products, you should take a break from them. They, too, can wear enamel and lead to sensitivity issues. Finally, avoid acidic foods and beverages that will damage tooth enamel.
Sudden tooth sensitivity is a literal pain. It’s not something you want to deal with long-term or ever again if you can help it.
Taking the proper preventative measures to protect your enamel and correct any problems you have that could lead to pain are the best approaches to dealing with the issue. You also should make sure to fix any dental problems that could lead to sensitivity in the future so you can stay pain-free.
If you’re experiencing constant tooth sensitivity, it’s important to see your dentist to address the underlying cause. Looking for a dentist near you? Our Kool Smiles partner dentists have convenient locations to serve you. Contact us at 877-200-2064 or find one in your area!