When you drink something cold or hot, do you feel it in your teeth? Your teeth might also feel sensitive when you’re chewing or brushing. Sensitivity can be mild or actually feel like a sharp pain. What does tooth sensitivity mean? What should you do about it?
The most common reason for tooth sensitivity is thinning tooth enamel. When enamel starts to get thin and worn down, the nerves inside the teeth are more exposed. Enamel can thin when you consume a lot of acidic food and beverages, or scrub your teeth too hard with a hard-bristled toothbrush. You can also lose your enamel because of tooth decay or gum disease, which is why maintaining good oral care and visiting Dr. Allen and the team at least twice a year is so important.
Tooth sensitivity can also be a sign that you’ve cracked or chipped a tooth. If there’s a particular place in your mouth that suddenly feels sensitive to different temperatures or when you chew, it’s very possible there’s damage. Cracked and chipped teeth are considered a dental emergency, so please contact us as soon as you notice the sensation.
The best way to prevent tooth sensitivity is good oral care. This will protect your enamel and fend off tooth decay and gum disease. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, and floss. If you consume a lot of acidic food and beverages, consider cutting down or at least drink water to help neutralize the acids. Drinking acidic beverages with a straw can also protect your enamel.
If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity and aren’t sure why, don’t hesitate to contact us and set up an appointment! We’ll be able to determine possible reasons and offer recommendations on what to do.