There are many possible causes of tooth sensitivity. Some are serious. Some are minor. Generally, only your dentist can tell the difference, so it’s best to talk to your dentist about tooth sensitivity.
Sensitive teeth can be caused by:
- Thin enamel and exposed dentin
- Gum disease that can cause gums to pull away from teeth
- Surface-level cracks
- Broken teeth
- Tooth decay
- Tooth restorations
- Teeth whitening
Our enamel naturally thins with age, leading to an exposure of the underlying dentin, which may transmit more stimuli to the tooth nerve. Gum disease is always a problem. As it increases, it can lead to tooth loss due to the loss of support by the gums.
Surface-level cracks can make it easier for heat and cold to be transmitted to the nerve, but may not be a major cause for concern. Broken teeth, on the other hand, may expose the nerve not only to heat and cold, but also to infection. These teeth need to be treated immediately.
Minor tooth decay can increase sensitivity and deserves attention, but when decay progresses to the point that bacteria can attack the nerve, it can lead to serious infection. Pay attention to sensitivity that lasts for prolonged periods after the stimulus has passed. This may be a sign of an infected tooth that requires root canal treatment.
Some dental restorations, especially metal ones like amalgam fillings and porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can convey heat and cold more directly to your tooth nerve, increasing sensitivity. We can replace old fillings and crowns with metal-free fillings and all-porcelain dental crowns.
Teeth whitening can cause sensitivity. Most often, this is just due to the removal of organic materials that have been blocking the pores in your teeth, allowing stimuli to penetrate deeper into the teeth. If you experience sensitivity after teeth whitening, talk to us and we can recommend techniques for decreasing it. And customize your formula so you avoid it next time.
If you experience tooth sensitivity in Hoboken, please contact Frank R. DePaola DDS & Associates, LLC.