You might not think tooth sensitivity is a big deal at first. After all, isn’t it just a fleeting feeling caused by food debris or something? It’ll surely resolve itself on its own! However, there are times when a sensitive tooth really is an emergency. It’s thus essential to know when you should see a dentist for the condition. Otherwise, you could put your oral health at serious risk. Fortunately, your Greenfield dental practice can help. Read on to learn about tooth sensitivity’s causes, when it’s an emergency, and how to prevent it in the future.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
In general, pearly whites prevent sensitivity with their enamel. However, losing this protective tooth layer is possible for various reasons. When that happens, the teeth’s underlying dentin — its microscopic tubules — gets exposed. The result is that heat, cold, and food debris can reach tooth nerves and trigger soreness.
Various things can lead to a tooth’s dentin getting exposed. These include:
- Worn or eroded tooth enamel
- Tooth decay or cavities
- Exposed tooth root(s)
- Tooth fracture(s)
- Gum disease
- Worn restorations (i.e., fillings, crowns, etc.)
When Should I See an Emergency Dentist for It?
Tooth sensitivity isn’t usually a dental emergency. In most cases, you can treat it with things like desensitizing toothpaste, fluoride gel, and similar products.
However, it is an emergency if the soreness stems from a tooth infection. In that scenario, you have an infected tooth pulp sending pain signals to your brain. Without help from a dentist, your infection would eventually spread to your jaw and other body parts, leading to tooth loss or even sepsis.
If you act quickly enough, your dentist can solve the issue with root canal therapy. This procedure would remove the infected pulp from your tooth’s inner layers. Consequently, they’d stop your pain and save your smile.
Sensitivity Prevention Tips
You can head off a potential emergency by preventing tooth sensitivity. To do so, try following the tips listed below:
- Brust your teeth twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste for two minutes. (A desensitizing brand that blocks tooth sensation would be ideal.)
- Floss between your teeth once daily to remove plaque and food debris.
- Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash as needed.
- Eat less sugary food and have mouth-healthy items like yogurt, leafy greens, and lean proteins instead.
- Avoid bad oral habits like smoking tobacco.
Hopefully, you won’t experience emergency-level tooth sensitivity. If you do, though, trust that your dentist can see you through the problem!
About the Practice
Bagley, Goodwin, & Hrinda PC is based in Greenfield, MA. As led by the titular Drs. Bagley and Hrinda, it provides comprehensive dental care for all ages. To that end, its staff offers preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, including emergency procedures when needed. The practice is also a certified provider of Invisalign and Six-Month Smiles. For more information or to book an appointment, you can reach them on their website or by phone at (413)-772-0842.