What causes tooth sensitivity?

Team Uncategorized

A healthy tooth consists of a protective outer layer of enamel over a more porous layer of dentin, with a pulp chamber at the center. Dental pulp is made up of nerves and blood vessels, and those nerves receive sensory input for things like pressure and temperature changes through the thousands of microscopic tubules running through the dentin.

When Sensory Input Works Against Us

Enamel erosion is one of the main causes of tooth sensitivity. If the protective enamel layer wears down, then it exposes the tubules in the dentin, which leads to the nerves suddenly getting a lot more stimulation than they like. They get a nasty shock when the tooth comes in contact with anything too hot or cold, or sometimes even anything too sweet or sour.

Other Causes of Sensitivity

Gum recession can expose the root of a tooth, which doesn’t have enamel protecting it the way the crown does. If overbrushing, teeth grinding, or gum disease leaves the root exposed, it can become very sensitive. 

Get Help from the Dentist

There’s no need to suffer tooth sensitivity in silence; make sure the dentist knows! They can determine what’s causing the problem and provide solutions, including a fluoride varnish to strengthen tooth enamel, a prescription for a desensitizing toothpaste, or even a dental restoration or gum graft to cover exposed roots in more severe cases. Thank you for being part of our practice family!