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What Are Sensitive Teeth?

Teeth that are sensitive when they are exposed to hot or cold foods, brushing or flossing or cold or to air. are called sensitive teeth. You may also feel discomfort or a sudden flash of pain when eating sweet, acidic, or hot foods. The pain you feel may be due to receding gums, worn tooth enamel, or worn root surfaces. Healthy teeth are protected by strong enamel, cementum and good gums.

How teeth become sensitive

Enamel is the outer surface of the crown of the tooth. Cementum is the outer surface of the root of the tooth. The root is typically embedded in bone and covered by the gums. When enamel wears away or the gums recede, dentin and/or cementum can be exposed. Dentin is the inner layer of the tooth and is normally covered by enamel and cementum . The most common cause of sensitive teeth is exposed dentin. Acidic foods can wear away the tooth surface. Heavy or improper brushing can wear away the surface and expose the dentin. Dentin is connected to the nerve that triggers pain in sensitive teeth. 

If you have sensitive teeth

See your dentist if you have sensitive, painful teeth. Your dentist will examine your teeth to determine the cause of your tooth sensitivity and recommend a proper treatment plan.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 7/1/2019
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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