Tooth Sensitivity and Oral Health

Our oral health is more than just having a bright smile. It’s about the health and well-being of our teeth and gums. A common issue that you might develop is tooth sensitivity. While it seems like a simple problem, it can actually cause significant issues with your oral health. As a result, it is crucial to understand tooth sensitivity and how it can affect your oral health in an effort to protect your smile. 

Tooth Sensitivity and Oral Health

Understanding Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity occurs when the protective outer layer of our teeth wears down or recedes. This exposes the underlying dentin layer. Dentin contains tiny nerve endings. When it’s exposed, it can lead to sensitivity and discomfort. While sensitivity does cause discomfort, there is more to this problem than meets the eye. 

Increased Risk of Decay

One of the main concerns with tooth sensitivity is its link to an increased risk of tooth decay. When the enamel wears down, the dentin becomes vulnerable to bacteria and acids from food and drinks. This makes the teeth more susceptible to cavities. If left untreated, they can lead to more severe dental issues.

Impact on Gum Health

Sensitive teeth can also affect the health of our gums. Irritation from hot, cold, or acidic substances can cause discomfort. This can ultimately lead to changes in how we brush or floss. Improper or inadequate oral hygiene can result in gum inflammation or gingivitis. Without proper treatment and care, it can progress to gum disease.  

Gum Recession

Gum recession is another concern related to tooth sensitivity. When the gums recede, the roots of the teeth become exposed. Receding gums can develop due to aggressive brushing, gum disease, or other factors. Since the roots do not have the protective enamel covering, they are even more sensitive to external stimuli. As a result, it can cause heightened discomfort.

Enamel Erosion

Continual exposure to acidic foods and beverages, along with brushing too hard, can contribute to enamel erosion. This weakening of the enamel leads to tooth sensitivity and makes the teeth more susceptible to damage and decay. Once enamel is lost, it cannot be regenerated by the body. This is why your oral care and comfort are paramount. 

Difficulty in Oral Care

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is crucial for overall dental health. However, it can be hard for those with sensitive teeth. The discomfort while brushing or flossing can lead to avoidance of these essential tasks. This, in turn, can result in a buildup of plaque and bacteria that lead to cavities and gum disease.

Unfortunately, some with sensitive teeth may avoid seeking dental care altogether due to fear of pain. This can result in untreated dental issues. These may worsen over time and lead to more extensive and costly treatments.

Impact on Diet

Sensitive teeth can also influence dietary choices. People with sensitive teeth may avoid certain foods and drinks that trigger discomfort. This could lead to an imbalanced diet. This is because they may miss out on essential nutrients in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.