Ping! You feel your tooth twinge with discomfort as you take a healthy sip of coffee in the morning. That’ll wake you up!
Although tooth sensitivity can be alarming and annoying, does it mean you need to seek emergency care from your dentist? Maybe or maybe not. In this post, you’ll learn why your tooth might be giving you grief and when to take emergency action.
What Tooth Sensitivity Means
The symptom of sensitive teeth can indicate multiple issues. It could mean that you have a cavity that is diving deeper into your tooth. It could result from gum recession, which exposes the root surfaces. Or, it could be that your protective enamel has simply worn down in certain areas from normal wear and tear.
The best way to know which scenario your tooth sensitivity falls into is to have your mouth examined by your dentist.
When Tooth Sensitivity Can Wait
In some situations, you can experience a little bit of tooth sensitivity every now and then and still function. You may need to be more careful when you have iced tea or eat hot soup, but as long as it doesn’t interfere with your ability to eat or drink, you can wait until your next six-month dental checkup to tell your dentist about it.
At this appointment, they will likely take X-rays of your teeth and will closely examine that area you’ve identified as being sensitive. Then, they can recommend appropriate treatment, whether it’s removing the cavity, covering the teeth with composite resin, or using a special toothpaste for sensitivity.
When Tooth Sensitivity Requires Emergency Care
If your sensitivity worsens into full-blown pain when you eat or drink or makes these daily tasks too uncomfortable, it’s time to act quickly: reach out to your dentist for an urgent appointment. After they identify the problem, they will likely find that you have tooth decay, which they will remove. In some cases, this entails root canal therapy, a procedure in which your dentist takes out the infected inner layers of the tooth, including the nerve, and then seals it off so it can’t become reinfected in the future.
Although root canal therapy has had a reputation as being painful, it actually does the opposite—it relieves pain! Plus, your mouth will be numb during the procedure, so you shouldn’t experience any more discomfort as a result of your troubled tooth.
How to Slow Down Sensitivity
If you want to reduce the sensitive reaction in your teeth, there are precautions you can take. First and foremost, make sure you brush and floss your teeth every day, and be sure to keep up with your semi-annual dental checkups and cleanings. You can also use a fluoride toothpaste specially formulated for this very problem.
Tooth sensitivity can be a confusing, stressful symptom to deal with, but if you follow these tips, you and your dentist can handle this issue. That way, you can enjoy your morning coffee without such a jarring reaction!
About the Practice
In Midland, TX, Boyles General Dentistry & Implant Center has offered reliable emergency care to patients for more than 40 years. Dr. Franklin Boyles and his son, Dr. Stephen Boyles, are actively involved in various professional organizations, such as the Academy of General Dentistry, the Permian Basin Dental Society, and the International College of Oral Implantology. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, don’t hesitate to contact our office by calling 432-685-7011 or visiting our website.