Do sensitive teeth make you wince when you bite into your favorite ice cream? Does that refreshing cup of morning coffee cause you more discomfort than joy? You may be experiencing the systems of sensitive teeth. Your teeth can become sensitive for a number of reasons. When they do, the discomfort can be overwhelming. A recent Arm & Hammer survey regarding dental health revealed that out of 900 people, 25{dcbe0cd52ce35e2f156887e14605e24111ce99c14f01d3853732956d43020bdd} had to take time off from work at some point to see a dentist about sensitive teeth. Dr. Locke explains the science behind sensitive teeth.

Why Your Teeth are Sensitive

Teeth may become sensitive if the enamel wears thin or tooth decay occurs. Dentin, the layer beneath enamel, has tiny holes that allow sensory information direct contact to a tooth’s nerve. The roots of teeth aren’t covered with enamel, so an exposed root (due to gum recession) can be quite sensitive. Cavities, worn tooth enamel, or a fracture are common causes of sensitivity.

The sudden, sharp discomfort that marks a sensitive tooth may be due to an irritated or exposed pulp. Located inside the center of the tooth, the pulp is a bundle of nerves that keeps the tooth healthy. When a tooth cracks, the nerves are exposed to bacteria. The pulp becomes infected, and aside from causing intense sensitivity, the infection can spread throughout your gums and to other teeth. Treatment for a cracked tooth depends on the type and location of the crack. After a comprehensive exam, Dr. Locke can determine the severity of the crack to decide the best treatment.

Reduce Your Risk of Sensitive Teeth with Dr. Locke’s Help

A disciplined oral hygiene routine will reduce your risk of developing sensitive teeth. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day removes bacteria and plaque that can attack your enamel and weaken your teeth. Rinsing with mouthwash after every brushing can further your mouth’s defenses by dislodging debris from crevices that you cannot reach with a toothbrush or floss. If you play sports or engage in activities that entail rough physical contact, wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth from traumatic injury. A night guard can also be used to protect your teeth from pressure and friction if you have a habit of bruxism (grinding your teeth).

Attending a comprehensive dental checkup at least every six months will allow Dr. Locke to monitor the state of your dental health and spot potential oral health risks early on. If you have one or more sensitive teeth, contact our Waco dental office at (254) 776-4888. We welcome patients from Waco, Woodway, McGregor, Hewitt, and surrounding communities.