July 25, 2017
Texas heat is no joke—especially in the summer! To cool down, some of the best go-to drinks are ice cold cups of water, lemonade, or even a sweet frozen treat. But lately, you’ve been noticing that you can’t even enjoy these beverages without your teeth shooting a pain down the side of your mouth. What could be causing your teeth to feel this way? Moreso, how can Dr. Stampe at Cityline Dental Center help you? Let’s take a look at this dental problem and solutions we offer before you’re frantically googling “dentist near me” with shooting dental pains later in the summer.
Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?
Believe it or not, tooth sensitivity is a surprisingly common problem, affecting more than a third of the US population. Unlike normal typical tooth pain, which refers to the constant ache you might get from a cavity, tooth sensitivity usually occurs when teeth are exposed to specific stimuli like cold substances, heat, sweetness, or acidity.
To understand tooth sensitivity, you should get to know the layers of your teeth. Beneath the hard out layer of a tooth (the enamel) is dentin, which makes up the majority of the tooth itself. Dentin contains nerves and tiny tubules that transmit messages down to the root of the tooth where the soft, sensitive dental pulp is. If dentin is exposed directly to external stimuli without the protection of enamel, it can cause these shooting dental pains.
While enamel normally covers and protects dentin, it can become exposed in these ways:
- If the gum line recedes low enough to expose the tooth roots, the dentin there may be vulnerable to substances that enter your mouth.
- Acids from sodas, sports drinks, and certain foods can erode the enamel on your teeth. The acids work to soften the outer layer of the enamel, and if you brush your teeth while the enamel is in this softened state it may wear down over time and expose dentin. To avoid this, always wait an hour or so after drinking anything acidic before brushing your teeth – or just avoid consuming sodas and sports drinks entirely.
- Tooth decay can also be a problem. Naturally-occurring bacteria in the mouth can interact with the foods we eat and create harmful acids, which eat away at enamel of your teeth as well.
How Can Dr. Stampe Help Me?
If you’re experiencing minor tooth sensitivity, it’s important to be mindful of how you brush your teeth; try not to brush too aggressively, and don’t brush the same area for extensive amounts of time. Make sure you’re using a soft-bristled brush and proper technique. Always use fluoridated toothpaste, which builds the strength of your enamel. You may also want to consider using toothpaste that is specially formulated for sensitive teeth.
In some cases, tooth sensitivity lasts long enough or begins to warrant your more intense treatments, remember to call your Richardson dentist. Some professional treatments that we offer that can help alleviate your tooth sensitivity include:
- Concentrated fluoride varnishes
- Specially-formulated mouth rinses
- Bonding protective materials to the outside of the teeth
Do You Need Help with Sensitive Teeth? Call Us!
While normally mild, tooth sensitivity is a common problem that affects many people. If you’ve been struggling with this issue, don’t suffer throughout the summer any longer. Contact our Richardson office today to get more information on the best way to solve your sensitivity problems.
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