What you need to know about tooth sensitivity

By August 12, 2015 August 28th, 2015 sensitive teeth, Your Dentist

Having sensitive teeth can mean everyday activities like drinking a cup of coffee or eating an ice cream can provide significant discomfort. It is quite a common occurrence caused by the erosion of tooth enamel. This exposes the sensitive dentin underneath.

Around 40 million adults suffer at one time or another with tooth sensitivity. Fortunately, sensitive teeth is something Aesthetic Family Dentistry has plenty of experience treating!

With that in mind, let’s have a quick overview on what causes tooth sensitivity, how it affects us and whether it’s serious or not.

What is tooth sensitivity?

Sensitive teeth are those that become susceptible to discomfort during normal daily life. For example, discomfort when drinking something hot or cold, breathing cold air or discomfort when brushing or flossing. It can happen regularly, or every now and again. The more often it happens, the more important it is to have it addressed.

What causes tooth sensitivity?

As mentioned, sensitive teeth are caused by the erosion of tooth enamel. This enamel is a very hard substance that protects the tooth from damage. If you think about it, your teeth go through a lot day to day so they need as much protection as possible. That is provided by enamel.

Enamel isn’t invulnerable though. It can be worn down by acid erosion from food, daily wear and tear, time, bruxism (grinding of the teeth) and other lifestyle factors.

How does it affect us?

Exposure to hot or cold food or drink or even just cold air can cause momentary flashes of discomfort. Left unchecked, sensitive teeth can change the way we smile, eat, drink and even our lifestyle. Consciously or not, we adapt the way we behave to avoid that discomfort, including changing our diet.

Nobody wants to live with a constant source of discomfort as it can have far reaching influence on how we live. Plus, we all like a hot drink or an ice cream once in a while!

Is it serious?

Tooth sensitivity on its own isn’t serious except for the discomfort it brings with it. Rarely is it anything more serious than enamel erosion. However, left unchecked, that erosion and the resulting sensitivity could get worse or effect your oral health and your overall wellbeing.

It’s always best to visit your dentist if you begin suffering tooth sensitivity. There are a number of simple and painless treatments available that can address the issue. If you have or have developed tooth sensitivity, you should always visit your dentist. Schedule your appointment at Aesthetic Family Dentistry today. We’re here to help!