Welcome back to Hartwell Dentistry’s part 2 of what causes sensitive teeth and how to treat it.

Tooth Decay; when we begin to feel cold sensitivity between teeth or in an area that we don’t normally have any sensation, this is a warning sign! Tooth decay/caries is a disease process where bacteria has damaged the tooth through chemical break down of tooth enamel. This Tooth decay may not have become a cavitation or a hole, but we can still have cold, sweet or even acidic sensitivity from this specific area.

 Gum disease; can cause the gum to receed. Tartar is essentially a collection of bacteria. When built up around the teeth, releases toxin in to the gum and cause the gum to receded.  Sensitivity then follows as described above.

 Abrasions and Grinding; as mentioned previously, toothbrush abrasion can cause abnormal exposure or the thinning of the enamel causing sensitivity. The thinning of enamel can occur from other habits or incidents!

  • Incorrect use of toothpicks, floss and tooth-brushes
  • Stressing – we can clench and grind our teeth
  • Trauma
 Cracks; Cracked teeth will not heal unlike cracking a bone in the body!When we crack our teeth, we understand that something bad has occurred and we see our dentists for an emergency. But when we don’t realize we have cracked a tooth, and we don’t regularly attend dentist/hygienist appointments, the tooth will continue to weaken until something gives way.

The cracking process- when the outer layer/enamel of the tooth is cracked, chewing can cause stress/movement of the pieces. This process can irritate the pulp under the first and second layer of teeth. How does pain occur then? After chewing pressure, we release the contact of our teeth hence removing biting pressure; the crack can close quickly, resulting in sharp pain.

If this process occurs often, the tooth will not only hurt when chewing but also become sensitive to temperature extremes. If still left untreated, the cracked tooth may begin to hurt without any cause. Extensive cracks can lead to infection of the pulp tissue, which can spread to the bone and gum tissue surrounding the tooth.

This is why when you attend Hartwell Dentistry for a comprehensive examination, our dentists and hygienists will always ask if you have felt any aches, pains or sensitivity. Your awareness of any sensitivity is vital in the early diagnosis of potential problems and therefore will assist in prevention of further damage to your teeth and gums.

Never underestimate a sensitive tooth!