Most people have some level of experience with tooth sensitivity. Biting down on sweet foods and drinking extremely cold or hot fluids are common causes of this pain. It can also manifest from physical pressure. Tooth sensitivity usually strikes lightning quick and then recedes into a subtle ache high in the gum or roots of the affected teeth.
The source of this discomfort can vary from patient to patient. If the sensitivity hasn’t been a reoccurring problem, it may be a short-term result of moderate trauma; biting down on something too hard can be a common issue. If you are lucky, the tooth has only been mildly bruised and will recover given time and care. However, if tooth sensitivity is a chronic, reoccurring issue in your life you may need to visit a dentist to determine the source of the problem.
It’s normal for teeth to be sensitive after a routine cleaning or if you’ve had a cavity filled recently. Minor dental procedures often put unusual pressure on your teeth and can leave them a little vulnerable to extreme temperatures or tough food. Grinding your teeth or biting your nails causes pressure that often results in temporary sensitivity. As long as the symptom goes away after a day or two, it probably isn’t a serious condition and avoiding those behaviors can improve it.
Prolonged pressure sensitivity usually indicates a break, chip, or fracture in your tooth, whereas sensitivity to temperature is often a symptom of exposed dentin. This is a more serious problem that can cause persistent tooth sensitivity. Dentin is the nerve fiber just beneath your enamel. Enamel decay can expose these extremely sensitive nerve endings and cause sharp pain to radiate into the roots of your teeth.
Gum recession and dental decay in general are cause by a variety of factors, but there is a solution. If the problem has significantly progressed you may have to seek professional treatment, but preventative measures like special toothpastes can be gentler on affected areas. Fluoride rinses can strengthen weak teeth. In general, avoiding dangerous oral habits that involve harmful products such as tobacco are also helpful. For more information, contact your family dentist.