While you might need your teeth to speak, your teeth themselves are unable to tell you when something is wrong. However, while they may not be able to tell you in words, they can inform you in other ways, such as through pain or sensitivity. It is important that you pay attention to these signs, as they often signify that something isn't quite right with your oral health.
If your teeth have suddenly become sensitive, it is safe to assume that the sensitivity is caused by another more serious, underlying problem. Here is a list of the possible causes of your sudden tooth sensitivity.
Receded Gums due to Trauma
When your gums are exposed to trauma, they often recede, pulling away from your teeth. This could happen to one or more teeth, it simply depends on how many have been affected.
The more serious form of gum disease, periodontal disease (periodontitis) can cause your gums to recede in the affected area. The most likely areas to be affected are those areas where a significant amount of tartar has built up around the teeth. This tartar (hardened plaque) contains bacteria and toxins which damage gums, causing them to recede.
If your teeth or a tooth is suddenly sensitive, the gradual gum recession associated with gum disease may have finally exposed the tooth surface beneath the gumline. While the topmost surface of your teeth is composed of enamel, the layer beneath the gumline is composed of the much weaker dentin.
Whenever cold or hot foods come into contact with this area, the nerve of the tooth below the dentin becomes irritated and you experience sensitivity.
Cavities due to Poor Oral Health
Sensitivity is also a sign that you may have cavities. Examine the area where you experience the sensitivity, and check for discoloration or missing enamel.
Wear and Tear Caused by Grinding
Some people grind their teeth at night; a condition referred to as bruxism, and if they are unaware of this, or fail to do anything about it, eventually the wear and tear caused by the constant grinding of teeth against teeth, will wear down the enamel. Sensitivity occurs when the layer of enamel is so thin that heat and cold temperatures are able to penetrate through to the nerve of your tooth.
Overbrushing Your Teeth
If you have been overzealous with your brushing, or flossing, you may have worn away the enamel of your teeth. Some people are mistakenly of the opinion that harder brushing means better cleaning. This isn't the case. You should use a soft-bristled brush, and use moderate pressure while brushing.
Seek dentists in your area to book a checkup as soon as you can if you are experiencing sudden sensitivity in your teeth. The longer you leave the issue unaddressed, the worse the sensitivity will get.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved stories about the past. Whether the stories were about horses, wars, exploration or even dentistry, I loved to hear them. I find that knowing the history of something helps it to make sense and feel approachable. I know that some people have dental anxiety, and I too have suffered, but I also feel like the more you know about dental work and its history, the easier it is. This blog is dedicated to exploring the history of dentistry – What did ancient people use for fillings? How did early dentists numb their patients? Who was the first dentist? Those are just some of the questions I plan to answer here. Ready? Okay, let's dive into the history of dentistry together!