Park Ridge Implant Dentists Explain Tooth Sensitivity

young woman with a tooth acheTooth sensitivity can range from barely noticeable to intensely uncomfortable, depending on the severity of its underlying cause. Whether minor or extreme, a toothache is typically a warning that your oral health needs immediate attention, and you may not find relief until you’ve resolved the issue making your tooth hurt. Park Ridge implant dentists, Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas, may specialize in replacing teeth that have been lost to disease and damage, but are dedicated to helping you preserve your natural smile when possible. Today, we explain how tooth sensitivity can result from the slow destruction of your tooth, and why you shouldn’t ignore the symptom.

A Close Look at Your Tooth

A healthy tooth is comprised of layers that protect the vulnerable tissues at its center. The inner chamber, called the pulp, is surrounded by the main body of your tooth, called dentin. Similar to bone, dentin is strong, but it’s vulnerable to infection and contains small tubules that lead to the inner pulp. Luckily, a healthy tooth’s dentin and pulp are protected from bacteria and everyday use by tooth enamel—the strongest substance that your body produces. To remain strong, enamel requires a steady supply of minerals from your teeth, mainly calcium and phosphate, and daily cleaning to remove dental plaque, bacteria, and the acids that oral germs produce.

Compromised Tooth Structure

When certain oral bacteria consume sugar and carbohydrates, they convert them into acid that weakens your enamel and depletes your teeth of essential minerals. The acid usually dissipates within 20-30 minutes, and as your teeth regain their minerals, your enamel can regain its strength (remineralization). However, if acid erosion outpaces remineralization, then your enamel can eventually develop small holes, which it cannot repair. As bacteria slip past the security breach and infect your dentin, the irritation can stimulate your tooth’s nerves and blood vessels in the pulp, causing your tooth to hurt as tooth decay develops.

Seek the Expertise of Your Park Ridge Implant Dentists

Though tooth decay is a common source of tooth sensitivity, it isn’t the only cause. Toothaches can also occur from gum recession, which is a symptom of gum disease and can expose your teeth’s sensitive roots. Accidental trauma, grinding your teeth, or a lifetime of use can also cause cracks and fractures that expose your tooth’s inner layers, causing it to hurt. To diagnose and treat your tooth sensitivity before the issue becomes severe, schedule an appointment with Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas by calling your Park Ridge implant dentists’ office at (847) 696-1919. Located in the 60068 area, we proudly serve patients from Park Ridge and the surrounding Chicago communities.