If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, odds are you know it. The sharp twinge you get when you bite into an ice cream bar, sip your morning coffee, suck on sticky sweets or eat something acidic is hard to ignore.
Enamel protects the teeth above the gum line, and cementum protects the root. Below these protective coverings is dentin. Dentin consists of tiny tubes that enable hot, cold and acidic and sticky foods to reach the nerves. According to the American Dental Association, sensitive teeth can be caused by tooth decay, a fractured tooth, gum disease, an exposed root, or worn fillings or tooth enamel. Brushing too hard, grinding your teeth or using teeth whitening products are also known to contribute to sensitivity.
Treatment for tooth sensitivity can range from using certain types of toothpaste to undergoing major dental work. Be sure to consult your dental professional if you suffer from sensitivity. Also, be sure to establish and maintain good oral hygiene habits. Brushing two times a day, flossing daily and using mouthwash is key to preventing dental health problems.
Resources: American Dental Association, About Health and the Mayo Clinic