Sensitive Issues

Sensitivity can be caused by many factors


When someone comes to me complaining of tooth “sensitivity”, I usually run down the following list of possible causes

1. gum recession – As we get older or as a result of plaqe buildup, crooked teeth or an accident. Recession can expose the area of the tooth not covered by enamel, the root. This means that whenever you drink something cold, you get sensitivitiy in those areas. There are many solutions to this, but one of the most simple and quick ways is to cover those sensitive spots with bonding that matches your tooth. Other solutions can include gum surgery, cleaning of the gums and sometimes moving the teeth into the proper position.

2. A cracked toot or filling – If a piece of your tooth or filling is missing, the sensitive dentin layer of the tooth will be exposed and will be sensitive to biting, cold and hot. If the crack extends to the roots of the tooth it can even cause extreme pain and headaches. Cracked tooth can be very difficult to diagnose as we can’t see it on x-rays and the cracks are so small that we can’t even see them in your mouth sometiems. Solutions to cracked teeth can be as simple as a filling or even the loss of the tooth if the crack is deep enough.

3. Grinding of teeth – Many people can grind their teeth in their sleep or even when driving, in front of the computer etc… Grinding teeth can wear down the enamel and cause sensitivity. You can also cause damage to the temporo-mandibular joint and even cause muscel soreness. The simplest way to deal with this is to start with a nightguard which can protect your teeth and your joints. From there, you can restore severly wrn down teeth with fillings or crowns to help protect them.

4. Enamel Erosion – Erosion is the result of acid on the enamel. There are two ways acid can get on your teeth. The first is by eating acidic foods or sucking on lemons and oranges regularly. The second is the acid from your stomach that can come into the oral cavity if you have untreated acid reflux disease. Both of these can cause severe damage to the teeth over time. Solutions are to prevent the acid from hitting the teeth in the first place by controlling reflux or by avoiding acidic foods. If the erosion is sever, you may need root canals and crowns to repair the damage.

Hope this helps you narrow down why your teeth are sensitive.  As usual, please call us at 213-385-9710, email us at, or just  click here to make your own appointment online.

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