Got Sensitive Teeth?
The Parts of Your Tooth and How They Affect Tooth Sensitivity.
Do your pearly whites experience pain when you eat or drink something that is hot, cold, or sweet? Tooth sensitivity is the sharp burst of pain your teeth feel if you have tooth sensitivity and they touch something hot, cold, or sweet. This is likely from exposed dentin, that layer of the tooth below the tooth enamel that is filled with microscopic tubules containing nerve endings. Dentin is usually protected by enamel in the crown of the tooth and by cementum in the root.
So What Is in That Tooth?
- Pulp is the soft tissue in the center of the tooth and is surrounded by dentin. It is comprised of: blood vessels, lymph vessels, nerve tissue, connective tissue and cells. The pulp is what nourishes the tooth and repairs the dentin.
- Cementum is the thin layer of calcified or mineralized tissue covering the root. Cementum is harder than bone but softer than enamel or dentin.
- Dentin is the main part of the tooth that gives the tooth it's color. It is harder than bone but still softer than enamel and contains microscopic canals, or tubules. These tubules transmit pain stimuli straight to the nerve tissue.
- Tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in the body and is the white part of the tooth above the gums. After fully forming, it cannot grow or repair itself.
Possible Causes of Tooth Sensitivity:
- Brushing your teeth with a hard-bristled toothbrush and with excessive force
- Plaque buildup on your teeth
- Receding gums exposing the root of the tooth
- Eating and drinking highly acidic foods (soda, citrus fruits, berries, pickles..etc) which cause erosion
- Worn, leaky fillings in your teeth, or broken teeth exposing dentin
- Grinding your teeth while you sleep (also called bruxism) and clenching
- Recent dental work such as a crowns, fillings, or teeth whitening
What You Can Do:
To help your teeth minimize sensitivity, try the following: brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Limit your exposure to acidic foods and begin using a densensitizing toothpaste such as Sensodyne. Avoid harsh abrasives on your teeth such as tartar control toothpastes and tooth whitening toothpastes. If you suffer from night time grinding or daytime clenching wear a mouth guard.
Your Palm View Dental team may also help you with tooth sensitivity. Call us at (626) 782-7200 for your options.