If sipping a hot beverage or trying to enjoy ice cream on a hot day hurts your teeth, you may be having sensitivity issues. There are a few causes of sensitive teeth, such as having fractured teeth, cavities, worn fillings or worn tooth enamel. You may have gum disease or an exposed tooth root. For those with healthy teeth, the crowns of the teeth are protected by a layer of enamel. Cementum is a layer under the gum line that protects the tooth root, with dentin underneath of that.
As the dentin starts to lose the protective coating of enamel or cementum, small hollow tubes allow both cold and heat, as well as sticky and acidic foods, to reach the cells and nerves found inside of the tooth. Hypersensitivity to heat, cold and certain foods are the result.
If your teeth are sensitive, they can be treated. Maintaining proper oral hygiene is one way to prevent sensitivity to your teeth. Talk to your dentist if you have concerns about tooth sensitivity or your daily oral hygiene routine.