August 18, 2021
Does sipping your morning cup of coffee cause a sudden tinge of discomfort? Maybe enjoying an ice cream cone makes you pucker your lips in pain? You’re likely suffering from tooth sensitivity. According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, at least 1 in 8 adults experiences tooth sensitivity in Lancaster. Since the sensation isn’t constant, it may not seem concerning, but does it warrant a trip to your emergency dentist? Here’s what you need to know to safeguard your smile and stop your pain.
Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
Your teeth are composed of 3 layers. The hard outer layer is your enamel, which protects the underlying dentin. The softer material contains millions of tiny tubes that connect to the pulp, which is the nerve center of the tooth. When the enamel is weakened, such as from decay, fractures, or chips, your dentin is more susceptible to feeling temperature changes, like when drinking a glass of cold water.
It’s also not uncommon for the sensitivity to be a symptom of gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss. If the infection isn’t treated, the gums can pull away from the teeth, leaving the roots exposed. The roots don’t have the protection of enamel. Instead, they are covered by a softer connective tissue called cementum, which can quickly wear away. Without the right intervention, you can experience significant discomfort.
Unfortunately, the culprits of tooth sensitivity don’t end there. Failing restorations and other untreated oral health problems can also contribute to it. Although sensitive teeth are common, it isn’t an issue you want to ignore.
Emergency Dentist VS Regular Appointment
In most cases, tooth sensitivity doesn’t require a call to your emergency dentist in Lancaster unless the tooth is damaged, such as from a break or fracture. If you aren’t in severe pain and there isn’t a visible cause for your discomfort, you can wait a couple of days to see your dentist, but don’t put it off until your next semi-annual appointment.
Your dentist will examine your mouth to pinpoint the source of your sensitivity. They’ll create a personalized strategy to rehabilitate your smile. Although every case is unique, common treatments include replacing restorations, periodontal therapy, or a fluoride varnish.
While you wait for your appointment, you can do several things at home to reduce your discomfort, such as:
- Avoid hot or cold foods and drinks.
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks.
- Use a desensitizing toothpaste.
You don’t need to skip a hot cup of coffee or your favorite sweet treat. Your dentist has the solutions you need to overcome tooth sensitivity and preserve your smile.
About Dr. Jubilee Goel
Dr. Goel earned her dental degree at the University of Southern California Ostrow School of Dentistry. She has completed extensive continuing education in many specialties, like nitrous oxide, CPR, 3D technologies, and dental implants. If you have sensitive teeth, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.
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