Why Teeth Become Sensitive
Many people think that our teeth are just made of bone, but this is far from true. Our teeth are actually comprised of several different parts. The outer layer is enamel, which protect the inner layers of our teeth from damage and more. The next layer is dentin, a porous tissue. Underneath that is the pulp of the tooth, a mix of soft tissue, blood vessels, and nerves.
Without the protective layer of enamel, the pulp of the tooth is susceptible to outside forces through the pores, or tiny tubes, in the dentin. This is what makes teeth sensitive. Sensitivity, often described as a “zinging” feeling, occurs when patients eat or drink substances that are particularly hot or cold. Some patients report that they even experience sensitivity simply by being in cold weather.
Enamel on teeth can diminish due to a number of reasons. Bacteria and acid will attack the enamel if the teeth are not cleaned properly or often enough. Conversely, brushing the teeth too soon after eating can be abrasive, leading to the same result.
One common cure for sensitive teeth is a fluoride treatment. Fluoride helps to increase saliva production, which fights against acid attacks. Other methods of treatment include desensitizing tooth paste, applying dental bonding in certain areas, attend regular dental exams, and avoiding acidic foods and drinks. Patients should also avoid brushing too hard and using toothbrushes with bristles that are too hard. Be sure to inspect your toothbrush the next time you use it. If the bristles are flared out in all different directions, it is likely you are brushing too hard, and can develop sensitive teeth.
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