Author:Dr. George Orfaly
Is the thought of having ice cream or a cup of hot coffee upsetting? Does brushing your teeth with cold water make you wince occasionally? If so, you may have sensitive teeth.
In healthy teeth, the outermost layer is enamel which is the densest substance in your body. The enamel layer protects the crowns of your teeth—the part above the gum line. Below the gum line is the root of the tooth. The outer layer of the root is cementum. Cementum is softer (or less dense) than enamel. When the cementum layer is exposed due to gingival recession, cold and hot can irritate the nerve and trigger pain.
Underneath both the enamel and the cementum is dentin. The dentin is the inner tooth layer which is less dense than enamel and cementum. The dentinal layer contains microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes). When dentin loses its protective covering of enamel or cementum these tubules allow heat and cold to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. The result can be hypersensitivity.
If there is a fracture line within the tooth, the nerve can be irritated when you bite down on the area that has the fracture. This is due to the movement of the fractured tooth structure. If a tooth has a portion missing due to it fracturing off, the nerve is not as protected and can be aggravated.
Your dentist will recommend treatment for your sensitive tooth depending on the cause of the sensitivity. Your dentist may suggest one of the following treatments:
Poor oral hygiene contributes to many of the causative factors behind tooth sensitivity. If plaque is not removed properly and consistently, it can lead to tooth decay and/or gum recession. It is important that you maintain good oral hygiene habits and visit your dentist regularly.
Dr. George Orfaly is a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry and has been practicing as a dentist in Salem, MA since 2005. He has consistently improved the lives of his patients by providing them relief, confidence, and healthy smiles. He believes that oral health is directly related to overall health and well-being. Dr. Orfaly has also been an active member of the American Dental Association, Massachusetts Dental Society, and North Shore District Dental Society.
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After having a negative experience with a filling with a past dentist, I was nervous to go to a new dentist with tooth pain. Dr. Orfaly and team were very understanding and knowledgable when walking me through my options for a cracked tooth. 10/10 would recommend due to their professionalism, attention to detail, and level of care. Thanks team!
Dr Orfaly is the best dentist around! I have alot of anxiety around going to the dentist & Dr Orfaly always makes sure to check in to see how I'm doing & is so nice. If a referral is needed to a specialist, he makes the call for you & gets you an appt quickly (mine was even the same day) I love how they book you with the same dental hygienist for all cleanings.. Adds another level of comfort... Shoutout to mine, Kathy!