You take good care of your teeth and they feel fine – except when you eat or drink something cold or hot. But when you start to savor that first cup of coffee or sip a refreshing glass of iced tea, the pain begins. And you find yourself wondering “what’s going on?”
It’s one of the most common problems my patients tell me about. Fortunately, though, there are ways to stop the pain and get back to enjoying the things you love.
The first step is making sure your pain isn’t caused by a chipped or cracked tooth or a cavity that’s close to a nerve. If neither of those things is the problem, chances are your pain is coming from tooth roots that have become exposed.
In fact, root exposure is the most common source of tooth sensitivity. In its early stages, though, it’s often not even visible to the naked eye
A pathway for pain
To understand how something as common as root exposure can cause so much misery, it helps to know some tooth anatomy.
The part of your tooth you can see is covered by a layer of enamel, the strongest substance in your entire body.
Below the gum line, a layer called cementum covers the root. This layer isn’t as dense as enamel but if it’s well covered by your gums the roots are protected.
Beneath both the enamel and cementum is dentin, a part of your tooth that’s a good bit more vulnerable. In fact, this dentin provides an actual pathway for pain in the form of thousands of tiny hollow tubes that lead directly to the tooth’s nerve. So if your gums pull away from a tooth’s root, heat or cold can penetrate to the nerve, causing that sharp, sudden pain you’ve come to dread.
And its not just hot and cold food and drinks. Sweet, sour or sticky things can make you miserable, too. For some people, just breathing cold air can cause pain.1
Fortunately this irritation of the nerve doesn’t cause any permanent damage2 but it certainly can keep you from enjoying things you used to look forward to.
As you can imagine, with a problem as common as exposed roots, there are several possible causes, including tooth grinding, plaque buildup, gums that are receding as a result of periodontal disease or simple aging, even brushing too hard.
Tooth whitening products that contain baking soda and peroxide are major contributors to tooth sensitivity3 as is eating a lot of acid foods. Even some routine dental procedures can cause temporary sensitivity, but unlike sensitivity caused by exposed roots, it usually disappears in four to six weeks.
Taking good care of your teeth and seeing me regularly can help prevent tooth sensitivity. But if the sound of ice cubes tinkling in a glass of lemonade or the thought of fresh hot pizza already makes you wince, you don’t have to put up with the pain.
Today, we can treat tooth sensitivity quickly, simply and affordably with advanced compounds that bond directly to the roots of your teeth to seal and protect them.
It doesn’t work for everyone, but most people are delighted with the fast, long-lasting relief they get. And if it doesn’t work for you, there’s no charge for the treatment.
Sound good? Then give us a call. And start enjoying all those things you’ve been avoiding, pain free.
“As a Facial Plastic Surgeon, I am consulted daily to evaluate and advise patients on ways to enhance their appearance, which improves their self-esteem and presentation to others. Over the many years that I have been her patient, Dr. Anna Giacalone has approached my multiple problems of teeth grinding, discoloration, and improper bite in a creative and compassionate way, resulting in a natural, confident and youthful smile. Besides my teeth looking great, I no longer grind my teeth.”
- Dr. Roy Stoller