Tooth Sensitivity – Possible Causes And Your Treatment Options In Bedford
Sensitive teeth are not only uncomfortable but may also indicate more problems ahead.
If you suffer from mild to moderate discomfort caused by tooth sensitivity, you might just put it down to ‘one of those things’ that you have to put up with in life, especially as you get older. This would be a mistake though as there are a number of ways that this can be controlled or corrected, but it could also be an indication that further problems may not be too far away.
Patients of our Bedford dental clinic will know that we firmly promote preventative care, as well as having a range of treatments available to restore teeth that are problematic. In today’s blog, we will take a look at some of the potential causes of sensitive teeth as well as ways that you can free yourself from this often very painful condition.
What causes sensitive teeth?
Cracks, chips and breakages
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort when you eat or drink anything that is hot or cold, it means that there is a problem with your teeth. One possible cause is that you have cracked a tooth. This isn’t always visible and obvious and may have been caused by a blow to the mouth, perhaps playing a sport. You may well have examined your teeth afterwards and thought that they looked fine, but this may not be detectable for the untrained eye. If you ever suffer from a blow like this or perhaps walk into something, causing a blow to the mouth area, it is always worth calling The Dental Centre Bedford to arrange for a dentist to check your teeth. Failing to do this could lead to the inner part of your tooth being exposed, potentially leading to tooth decay that may not be detected until your next appointment.
Whilst tooth enamel erosion has always been a problem, it has become increasingly so with the popularity of ‘sports’ and ‘energy’ drinks. These not only often contain high levels of sugar but are also very acidic too. Especially as these liquids pass directly over the teeth, this acidity is very harmful to the enamel that normally protects them. As the enamel wears away, the more porous part of the tooth beneath it allows more access to the nerves in the root canals of the tooth. When they are exposed to hot or cold sensations, it can cause anything from relatively mild discomfort to quite significant levels of pain.
Whatever the level of discomfort, you shouldn’t ignore this as it won’t go away and worn enamel increases your risk of tooth decay and root canal infections. It is worth saying that drinking this type of drink isn’t the only thing that can erode enamel and even healthy citric fruits can do so if not consumed in moderation. Grinding your teeth together and even some types of crooked teeth can have the same effect. Whatever the reason, please do call us if you experience this.
Some people are unfortunate and grow up with teeth which are naturally sensitive. However, the same treatments are relevant as for those where the condition has been brought about by external factors.
What can you do about sensitive teeth?
The best thing that you can do, of course, is to prevent enamel erosion from happening in the first place, but what can you do if you are already suffering from sensitive teeth?
The first, and most obvious thing to do is to have your teeth checked by one of our Bedford dentists to determine the cause. If a tooth is cracked or broken, the tooth will need to be restored, possibly with a small filling or perhaps bonding. There are also a couple of options available if the problem is caused by worn tooth enamel.
Sensitive tooth toothpaste
For relatively mild discomfort from sensitive teeth, you may get relief from one of the sensitive teeth toothpastes that are in the market. These work in a number of ways but the most common being either by helping to create a barrier to at least partially replace some of the protective enamel, or by working to relieve some of the pain felt by the nerves in the tooth. While these can be reasonably effective at relieving discomfort, they don’t really address the ongoing problem and additional treatment may be required.
Anyone who has done DIY around the home will probably know veneers to be a fine layer of decorative wood that is applied to the surface of a more hard wearing but less attractive wood. Dental veneers operate in a similar way except that usually, it is also required to remove an equivalent thickness from the natural tooth in order to ensure a secure fit.
Whilst composite veneers are available, these tend not to be very long lasting and can also stain over time, which is a deterrent for some patients. More commonly used are porcelain veneers which are both long lasting, providing that you look after them correctly, and are also largely stain resistant.
Veneers are sometimes thought of as a cosmetic dental procedure and they can certainly be used for this, especially where teeth are badly discoloured and/or are chipped or cracked. They can be used for this protective purpose too and will not only stop the tooth sensitivity but will also protect the tooth from further damage as well.
A word of warning to anyone looking to have veneers fitted ‘on the cheap’. There are many offers to have dental veneers fitted in a number of other countries. Whilst we respect the fact that many of these countries have excellent dentists, this is not always the case and cheaper veneers may mean poorer quality materials and perhaps less experienced dentists too. There have been a number of cases where patients have taken up these offers and have suffered long term damage to their teeth. It really isn’t worth the gamble and by using your local dentists, you can be sure of both high quality veneers and an experienced team to fit them correctly for you.
If you suffer from sensitive teeth, why not take the first steps to correct the situation now? To arrange for a dentist to examine your teeth and discuss an action plan to correct the problem, please call The Dental Centre Bedford today on 01234 819868.