Elmhurst Dentist Outlines Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on May 1, 2018

Dental sensitivity often starts out as a nuisance, and then intensifies into a problem that negatively affects the sufferer’s day to day life. The good news is that there are treatments available that can help to prevent sensitivity, and minimize existing discomfort. Our Elmhurst dentists are here with some information about the causes of dental sensitivity; we hope that this information helps you protect your smile moving forward.

In order to understand dental sensitivity, you first have to know how a tooth is designed. A tooth has three layers—the dental enamel, the dentin, and the dental pulp. The enamel is hard, non-porous, and free of nerves—this is the protective layer of the tooth. Below the enamel is the dentin, which is slightly more sensitive and vulnerable. At the center of the tooth is the pulp, which holds nerves, blood vessels, and other tissues.

When you experience dental sensitivity, your dental enamel is not adequately protecting the inner layers of your tooth.

This can happen because your dental enamel is thinning, either due to bruxism, acidic substances, or simply wear and tear.

Your inner tooth may also be vulnerable if your gum tissue has started to recede. As the gum tissue that used to protect the roots of the tooth pulls away, your dental nerves are exposed to cold air, foods, and drinks, which all cause discomfort. Receding gum tissue is often due to gum disease, but you may also be damaging your gum tissue if you are brushing your teeth too aggressively.

Finally, harmful oral bacteria can work their way through your enamel, and create a passageway that allows irritants to reach your inner tooth. In these cases, our team will need to eliminate the infected material, and then restore the tooth with a filling or crown.

With all that modern dentistry has to offer, you absolutely do not have to live with sensitive teeth forever. Our Elmhurst dentists are happy to give you any additional information that you may need—just give us a call to get started!