Do your teeth hurt when you sip cold water or hot coffee? What about when there’s any pressure applied to your teeth? Do they feel sensitive?
Tooth sensitivity is pretty common, especially for people aged 20 to 40 (though it can affect people of all ages). If you have symptoms of pain ranging from a mild twinge to aching when your teeth are exposed to different temperatures or pressures, you can do something about it. And it’s time to answer that lingering question you may have — is having sensitive teeth a bad thing?
What Is Tooth Sensitivity?
How do you identify tooth sensitivity? “Sensitivity in teeth occurs when the nerve of the tooth is exposed to stimuli,” said Dr. Nehi Ogbevoen, DDS and board-certified orthodontist at Beverly Hills Orthodontics in Los Angeles, CA. As mentioned above, tooth sensitivity is pain ranging from mild to severe. “Sensitive teeth are one of the most common concerns among patients visiting the dentist,” Dr Ogbevoen said.
How Does It Happen?
There can be several different causes of sensitive teeth. “This can be due to the wearing down or thinning of the tooth enamel [from dietary acid or brushing too hard, for example] or gum recession exposing underlying layers of teeth,” Dr. Ogbevoen explained. Bleaching teeth, gum disease, and a cracked tooth can all create sensitivity, too.
“When the protective layers of the teeth have been compromised, stimuli such as heat, cold, and even sugar can trigger a sensation of pain to the nerve of the tooth,” Dr. Ogbevoen explained.
Is Having Sensitive Teeth Bad?
So you’re probably wondering, “Is this sensitivity a bad thing?” Not necessarily! “Sensitivity does not necessarily mean you have unhealthy teeth,” Dr. Ogbevoen said. “However, if the sensitivity is affecting daily activities such as eating, drinking, or talking, it is best to visit your dental health professional.”A dentist can recommend treatments or procedures that can be done to help sensitivity.
How Can You Treat Sensitive Teeth?
Step one: visit your dentist. It’s best to seek advice and an examination from a dental professional, Dr. Ogbevoen explained. “A thorough examination will identify any cracks, holes, or cavities in your teeth and gum recession.” He went on to say that your dentist will most likely recommend a sensitivity toothpaste, like Sensodyne, to provide sensitivity relief.
Sensodyne Rapid Relief provides proven pain relief in three days with twice daily brushing. It’s the No. 1 dentist-recommended toothpaste brand for sensitive teeth. The active ingredient, stannous fluoride, builds a layer over exposed dentin to quickly create a protective barrier over the sensitive areas of your teeth; this is what helps keep outside triggers from reaching the nerves, providing long-lasting sensitivity relief.