Have ever been enjoying a milkshake or a bowl of soup, and suddenly felt an intense, throbbing pain in your teeth? If this has happened to you, you are certainly not alone. Many people suffer from tooth sensitivity and struggle to understand where it is coming from and how to care for it. Typically extreme temperatures like very cold or very hot foods will aggravate the sensitivity, leaving you distracted and struggling to enjoy your food as much as you used to.
Discovering what is causing your sensitivity will determine your course of action. Regardless of what might be causing your tooth pain, at Scott Edwards, D.D.S. We recommend always taking these concerns to your dentist. They can verify your symptoms and the causes, ensure that there isn’t something more serious happening that will require intervention, and recommend the best treatment plan to reduce your pain and get you feeling better again!
Learn What is Causing Your Sensitivity
Worn Tooth Enamel
Many people experience a bit of enamel wear on their teeth throughout their life. Your enamel can get sightly worn away without you even realizing it, maybe from an improper bite where your teeth clash into each other, or through repeated chewing of too-hard substances like ice or even grinding your teeth.
When the enamel is worn too thin, the layer of tissue underneath your tooth enamel, called dentin, starts to become exposed. Dentin contains microscopic tubules, like hollow tubes. When the dentin is exposed to the environment, like hot and cold foods you eat, the tubules stimulate the nerves and cells inside the tooth, causing sensitivity.
A cavity is caused when the bacteria in your mouth turn into plaque and tartar that eat away at the enamel on your teeth. If not properly removed, this plaque and tartar can eat a hole through the enamel that cannot be fixed on its own, requiring the help of a dentist. When the layers of dentin and pulp inside of the tooth are exposed thanks to this tooth decay, there is often quite a bit of pain along with it, especially when chewing or biting.
Another moment when the inner layers of the tooth are exposed and cause sensitivity is when you chip a tooth. Depending on where your tooth is chipped and how much of the inner layers of the tooth are exposed will determine how painful it is, and how much of an intervention you might need. Be sure to head to your dentist right away after chipping a tooth to avoid even more painful and unsightly outcomes like tooth decay and tooth loss.
Exposed Tooth Roots
The roots of your teeth are directly connected to your nerves. When these get exposed due to gum disease or injury, it can be excruciatingly painful. More than just regular sensitivity, this is one to rush straight to your dentist for, where they can help you find a treatment plan fast.
Find the Problem, Then Find the Solution
If your tooth sensitivity is caused by an improper bite or crooked teeth clashing, then orthodontics is a great, long-term solution for your pain. By aligning the teeth and jaw, your teeth should sit comfortably without smashing or grinding together. This will give your enamel a break, allowing it time to heal itself. Plus you get to enjoy the benefits of beautiful, straight teeth!
Ask Dr. Edwards or Dr. Prince for their recommendations to see if they can suggest orthodontics as a good option for your sensitive teeth and bite issues!
Toothpaste & Fluoride
As mentioned above, some wear and tear on your enamel throughout your life is fairly standard, and can often be treated with simple solutions. Sensitive teeth toothpaste is often a great place for patients with minimal tooth sensitivity to get started. These kinds of toothpaste typically have an increased amount of fluoride in them, one of the minerals needed for your teeth to naturally repair themselves.
If fluoride toothpaste just isn’t cutting it, talk to your dentist about getting a fluoride treatment at their office. This might be a gel, foam, or paste that they put over your teeth for a few minutes to help add more fluoride, in turn strengthening your tooth enamel and reducing your pain.
Gum Graft and Root Canal
Getting a gum graft or root canal are surgical routes that your dentist might suggest for extreme cases of tooth pain and discomfort. If the problem comes from gum disease or recession, then a gum graft can sometimes be the best solution to keep the roots of your teeth from being exposed. A root canal actually severs the connection between the tooth root and the nerve to help prevent pain now and in the future.
These are obviously more drastic options that your dentist will suggest only after other options have been explored.
Find All the Expertise You Need at Scott Edwards, D.D.S.
As you can see, tooth pain and sensitivity are not something to be brushed under the rug. Your pain matters and your ability to enjoy your food and your life is so important! Prevent further problems by contacting Scott Edwards, D.D.S today to explore the causes of your tooth pain and start finding some solutions! Get in touch with one of our offices in East Memphis or Midtown today!