Chronic dental sensitivity can put a real damper on your day to day life. If you struggle with sensitivity, you may find it more difficult to eat, drink, and even smile normally.
The good news is that there are treatments available to help minimize tooth sensitivity. Our Tinley Park dentists are here to help you better understand why sensitivity occurs in the first place, so that you can take steps to protect your smile down the road.
In order to understand dental sensitivity, you first need to understand the basic structure of a tooth. Many people don’t know this, but every tooth is actually comprised of three different layers.
The outermost layer is the dental enamel—this is the protective shield of the tooth. Enamel is hard, fairly non-porous, and free of nerves.
Below the enamel is the dentin—dentin is more porous than enamel, which means that bacteria and irritants can pass through it more easily than they can pass through enamel.
The innermost layer of the tooth is called the dental pulp—this part of the tooth is very sensitive, as it houses blood vessels, nerves, and living tissues.
If you are experiencing sensitivity, then your dental enamel is, for some reason, not adequately protecting the more vulnerable layers of your tooth. This may happen because your dental enamel has become thin due to acid exposure or chronic dental grinding. You may also develop sensitivity because dental damage or infection has bored its way through the enamel, and into the inner layers of the tooth. Sometimes, dental sensitivity occurs because the base of the tooth—the tooth root—is not sufficiently covered by a protective layer of gum tissue.
As you can see, in all of these cases, dental sensitivity occurs due to a breakdown of your smile’s natural defensive structures. Treatments for tooth sensitivity will aim to rebuild or repair these defensive barriers, or to minimize the sensitivity of dental nerves.
When you meet with our Orland Park dentists, we’ll be able to give you a better idea of what type of treatment will best meet your needs. Give us a call to get started!