What Causes Teeth Sensitivity?
Perhaps you noticed during the holidays that that mug of hot cocoa or that sugar cookie really make your teeth hurt. Or maybe when you went up north to visit family, the cold air caused an aching sensation in your teeth. That feeling is called is called dentin hypersensitivity, or simply sensitive teeth. And it’s usually a sign of a larger problem.
You could resolve to use desensitizing toothpaste, but that’s not a long-term solution. At Houston Uptown Dentists, we want to help you address whatever’s causing your hypersensitivity.
Our staff is highly skilled in a wide range of dentistry services, so whether your woes stem from tooth decay or gum recession, we can help alleviate discomfort and get your dental health back on track.
Read on for three common causes of teeth sensitivity, as well as ways we can help. Then, consult the experts in our Houston, TX office! Call us at (832) 463-1021 to schedule an appointment.
1. Tooth Decay
When your tooth is healthy, a tough outer layer called enamel protects the dentin — the layer underneath the enamel that contains tiny tubes that lead to nerves within the tooth. When tooth decay eats away at the enamel, heat, cold, and other irritants can reach those nerves, causing hypersensitivity.
If tooth decay has caused your teeth to become hypersensitive, restorative dentistry can help rebuild that protective barrier that will again shield the dentin from irritants.
Sometimes, the damage can be repaired with a tooth-colored filling, which we use exclusively here at Houston Uptown Dentists. You’ll never have to worry about unsightly metal fillings again!
For more extensive damage, we might recommend a custom-made dental crown, which completely covers the visible portion of a damaged tooth.
2. Fractured Teeth
When you crack the hard outer layer of your tooth, movements like chewing can cause other parts of the tooth to move. This can irritate the innermost part of the tooth, called the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels.
If the damage isn’t quickly addressed, it can lead to nerve damage and even infection.
To repair nerve damage, we might recommend a root canal procedure. This involves clearing the root canal of infected tissue and replacing it with an inert tooth-colored material. This will help prevent future infection!
Then, we might restore the visible part of the damaged tooth with a dental crown. When all is said and done, you’ll have a beautifully restored tooth that looks and feels great!
3. Gum Recession
Aggressive gum disease, or periodontitis, affects roughly half of American adults. And oftentimes, periodontitis is marked by a receding gum line that can cause hypersensitivity. In fact, sensitivity is often what first alerts patients to a receding gum line.
Underneath the gum line, a layer called the cementum protects the tooth root from irritants. When the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, it can expose the tooth root.
Traditionally, a receded gum line is repaired with a gum graft. This procedure involves taking a small amount of healthy tissue and securing it over the affected gum line to encourage healthy re-growth of gum tissue.
But at Houston Uptown Dentists, we’re proud to offer a minimally invasive alternative to gum grafts called the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique. It accomplishes the same thing as gum grafts — restoring a healthy gum line — but without any surgical cutting or sutures!
Here’s how it works. After thoroughly numbing the area, we create tiny holes in the gum tissue. Using special tools, we’ll carefully reposition your gums to better protect your teeth. The procedure is so quick and easy that some people call it the “Lunchtime Gum Lift™!”
Work With Us To Fight And Prevent Teeth Sensitivity!
Fixing the issues that are causing your dentin hypersensitivity are only half the battle! When you come to Houston Uptown Dentists, we want to work with you to make sure the pain and discomfort don’t come back.
In addition to our restorative dentistry services, we offer top-notch preventative care! During routine dental exams and cleanings, we’ll use our state-of-the-art DIAGNOdent cavity detection system to spot the earliest signs of tooth decay. We can also offer fluoride treatments and varnishes to strengthen enamel, as well as non-surgical gum disease treatments that eradicate infection.
With proper care, hypersensitivity can be avoided so that you can always enjoy your favorite foods — hot or cold!