What your Tooth Sensitivity Really Means

what tooth sensitivity means

what tooth sensitivity meansServing patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville TN

Do you feel pain in your mouth when you eat or drink something that’s extremely hot or cold? How about when you brush your teeth? Pain is your body’s way of signaling you to a problem, and experiencing pain in any of these situations is not normal. If you’re experiencing heightened tooth sensitivity, Tusculum Dental Care wants to explore what this sensitivity really might mean.

Not all tooth sensitivity is the same

It may just affect a single tooth, several or all of your teeth. Heightened tooth sensitivity may occur out of the blue or build up slowly over time. You may experience this sensitivity just once in a while or on a chronic basis.

Whatever the specifics of your hypersensitivity, it can stem from any of the following triggers:

  • Eating or drinking something that is too hot or cold, extremely sweet, or highly acidic
  • Breathing in cold air
  • Brushing and flossing
  • Rinsing with mouthwash

In most cases, heightened sensitivity in your teeth stems from the erosion or deterioration of your dental enamel. Tooth enamel is the outermost layer of your teeth, which is designed to guard against sensitivity. As it thins, or a tooth becomes damaged due to decay or injury, the underlying layer (dentin) is exposed, which is more sensitive to temperature changes.

Tooth sensitivity most often is a sign of a dental problem

As mentioned earlier, pain is your body’s way of calling attention to an issue.

Heightened sensitivity in your teeth could be a symptom of a wide variety of dental concerns, including:

  • Tooth decay
  • Eroded tooth enamel due to overconsumption of acidic foods and beverages, frequent vomiting, or chronic acid reflux
  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Receding gums
  • Over-brushing
  • Bruxism, also known as clenching or grinding your teeth
  • Damage to dental restorations such as fillings or crowns

Your dentist has the experience and training to detect the cause of your tooth sensitivity, then recommend the right treatment to solve the problem. At Tusculum Dental Care, one of our Greeneville general dentists will review your symptoms and your oral health history and then conduct an examination of your teeth and gums that may entail taking X-rays. From there, treatment will be recommended, which could range from lifestyle changes to altering your oral care routine to more intensive procedures such as the placement of a restoration or performing a root canal. If gum disease or bruxism are causing your dental sensitivity, we can treat those conditions as well.

Treating Sensitive Teeth in Greeneville

You can make certain lifestyle changes that could help diminish dental sensitivity. This includes brushing and flossing more carefully, switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste designed to help reduce tooth sensitivity. You also could consider dietary changes like cutting down on your consumption of sugary or acidic foods and drinks or increasing the amount of calcium in your diet. The best way to prevent dental problems is to maintain regular check-ups every six months. If you need to make an appointment, or you’ve let your dental care lapse, then call (423) 639-7575.

Tusculum Dental Care is proud to serve our patients located in the areas of Greeneville, Jonesborough, and Erwin in Tennessee.