What Causes Tooth Sensitivity in Your Pearly Whites?
Tooth sensitivity is the temporary pain you feel if you have tooth sensitivity and your pearly whites touch something hot or cold. This is because of exposed dentin, the layer of the tooth below the tooth enamel with microscopic tubules filled with nerve endings. Dentin is normally protected by the tooth enamel in the crown and by cementum in the root beneath the crown.
What Comprises a Tooth?
–The pulp is the soft tissue in a tooth’s center surrounded by the dentin. It is made up of cells, blood vessels, lymph vessels, nerve tissue, and connective tissue. The pulp nourishes the tooth and repairs dentin.
–Cementum is the thin layer of calcified or mineralized tissue covering the root of the tooth and sits inside the gum socket. Cementum is harder than bone but softer than the enamel or dentin.
–Dentin is the main part of the tooth. Harder than bone and softer than enamel, it contains microscopic canals, or tubules. These canals transmit pain stimuli and nutrition through the tissues. Dentin also gives the tooth its color.
–Tooth enamel is a hard tissue that coat and protects the crown, and is in fact the hardest tissue in the body. After fully forming it can’t grow or repair itself. It can however, remineralize (regain) lost minerals. To remineralize your teeth, you it will need sufficient calcium, phosphorous and vitamin D.
What You Can Do:
Use a desensitizing toothpaste and brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Limit your exposure to acidic foods and avoid harsh abrasives on your teeth (tartar control toothpastes, tooth whitening, etc.) If you grind your teeth while you sleep, you can wear a mouth guard to protect your pearly whites from wearing down while you slumber.
One of our dentists can also help you with tooth sensitivity. For more information, please call the Lifepoint Dental team today at one of our six locations nearest you!