Not all toothaches mean a cavity. Sometimes, the pain is the result of tooth sensitivity. Do you experience sharp pains with eating or drinking hot or cold foods? If the pain is more noticeable during these times, tooth sensitivity might be the problem.
What is Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity occurs when the enamel that protects our teeth gets thinner, or when gum recession occurs, exposing the underlying surface, the dentin, reducing the protection the enamel and gums provide to the tooth and root. Dentin contains thousands of microscopic tubules, or channels, leading to the tooth’s pulp. When exposed to the elements, these dentinal tubules allow heat, cold, acidic or even sticky substances to reach the nerves inside the tooth, causing pain.
Signs & Symptoms
The pain is often sharp and sudden, but it is temporary. Fortunately, sensitive teeth can be treated, and the condition can improve. Avoiding acidic foods and drinks is a start. Soda, sticky candy, and high-sugar carbs – all of these items attack enamel. Teeth grinding is another culprit. Over time, teeth grinding wears away your enamel.
Sometimes, tooth sensitivity can be a sign of other issues, like shrinking gums, gum disease, or a cracked tooth or filling. If you’re experiencing any tooth sensitivity, it’s best to make an appointment to see your dentist in Wheeling, IL, immediately. After an examination, there are things your dentist can use to help ease your pain.