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      Sensitive Teeth: Causes and Treatments

      We've all experienced that sudden jolt of pain that shoots through a tooth when we indulge in something cold or hot. While the discomfort might be temporary, it can be a sign of something more serious. But what exactly causes teeth to be sensitive to cold?

      According to the American Dental Association, teeth sensitivity, also known as dentin hypersensitivity, arises when the dentin layer of your tooth becomes exposed.

      Dentin, located beneath the hard outer enamel layer, contains tiny tubules that lead directly to the nerve center of your tooth. When these tubules are exposed due to various factors such as cold, heat, or even acidic foods can trigger a sharp pain response.

      Here are common causes of tooth sensitivity.

      • Worn enamel: Over time, brushing too hard, teeth grinding, or acidic foods and drinks can erode enamel, leaving the dentin vulnerable.
      • Exposed tooth roots and receding gums: Gum recession is when gum tissue shrinks away from the teeth, exposing the root surface, which also contains dentin tubules. This can be caused by gum disease, hormonal changes, or aggressive brushing.
      • Cracked teeth, fractured fillings or crowns: Tiny cracks or fractures in teeth can expose the dentin layer.
      • Recent dental procedures: Fillings or crowns can sometimes irritate the dentin, leading to temporary sensitivity which typically goes away after a couple of days.

      Here at Harmony, we understand how frustrating tooth sensitivity can be. We can help! During your dental check-up, we will identify the source of your sensitivity and recommend the best course of treatment. Depending on the cause, this might include:

      • Desensitizing toothpastes: These toothpastes contain ingredients that block the dentin tubules, reducing sensitivity. We will recommend the best product for you.
      • Fluoride treatments: Fluoride strengthens enamel and can help prevent further erosion.
      • Dental procedures: In some cases, procedures like gum grafting, bonding, or root canal may be necessary to address the underlying cause.
      • Repair or replace failing restorations: Damaged fillings, crowns, or other restorations can sometimes irritate the dentin and cause sensitivity. We will check your existing restorations and recommend repairs or replacements if necessary.

      Don't let tooth sensitivity hold you back from enjoying your favorite food and drinks. Schedule an appointment today, and let's work together to help you achieve a healthy, comfortable smile.