Have you winced when consuming chocolates, ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies or other foods that are cold and/or sweet? Have you ever wondered what may be causing your teeth to be sensitive? I often hear from patients when they come to the dentist office, “Don’t touch this tooth, it is sensitive or this area of my mouth is sensitive”. I have some pearls and advice on various factors that could cause you to experience that “ouch” sensation making you wince while enjoying your favorite dessert!
When you experience some cold sensitivity, you may think that it is normal. However, it is very important to know that something could be wrong with either your tooth/teeth or disease process associated supporting structures of your teeth such as bone and gums. Here are some common contributing factors that could lead to sensitive teeth.
- Tooth may have a cavity caused by bacterial end product called lactic acid breaking down enamel
- Fractured teeth or fillings with missing protective enamel layer
- Erosion caused by mechanical or chemical destruction exposing second layer of the tooth called dentin.
- Bone loss, gum disease or mechanical factors leading to exposure of tooth root
Good news is that there is always a solution and recommendation for proper treatment based on factors causing sensitivity associated with teeth or supporting structures. Some of the treatment options may include but not limited to: desensitizing toothpaste, fluoride gel application in dental office, placement of a filling, full coverage restoration like a “cap” or crown, root canal or even a gum graft!