Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

Dental or Tooth Sensitivity can be caused by numerous reasons. However, these are the two most common reasons: 

1) Exposed Root Structure

2) Dental Cavity

Let's break these two causes down: 

1) Exposed Root Structure

Our teeth are situated in bone, surrounded by gum tissue. If there is recession, which means creeping or moving of the gum tissue down to a non-anatomical level, more of the tooth structure that is normally covered by our gum tissue is exposed. More specifically, our cementum is exposed. Cementum is softer than tooth enamel, and therefore is normally situated and covered by our gum tissue. When our cementum is exposed, we can experience dental sensitivity because A) Cementum is softer than enamel B) Cementum is closer to the pulp, where the nerve and blood vessels sit, with larger tubules. 

To treat this, we can either start by recommending sensitivity toothpastes which work to block and closes the exposed cementum tubules, or can propose gum grafting or bonding to cover and seal the exposed tooth structure. 

2) Dental Cavity 

To simplify, our teeth have three layers. The first is Enamel, the second is Dentin, and the third is the Pulp. If a cavity extends close to the third layer, the pulp, we can start to experience sensitivity. This is exhibited typically by hot and cold sensitivity, lingering discomfort, or throbbing that comes and goes. The treatment typically is to be seen by a dental professional for an evaluation. 

Tooth sensitivity is treatable. Please contact us with any questions or to set up your visit! Thanks! 

Nicole Barkhordar, DDS M.Ed Nicole Barkhordar, DDS M.Ed

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