The Parts of the Tooth and Tooth Sensitivity

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Do your teeth hurt when you eat hot or cold foods? If you have tooth sensitivity you likely have exposed dentin. Dentin is the layer below the tooth enamel filled with microscopic tubules containing nerve endings. While the tooth enamel protects the dentin in the crown, cementum protects the dentin that reaches beneath the crown to the roots of the tooth.
A Tooth Is Comprised of the Following:
Pulp: The tooth pulp is the soft tissue in a tooth’s center and is surrounded by the dentin. It is comprised of: blood vessels, lymph vessels, nerve tissue, connective tissue and cells. The pulp is what nourishes the tooth and repairs the dentin.
Cementum: Cementum is the thin layer of calcified or mineralized tissue covering the root of the tooth and sits inside the gum socket. Cementum is harder than bone but softer than the enamel or dentin.
Dentin: Dentin is the main part of the tooth. It is harder than bone and softer than enamel and contains microscopic canals, or tubules. These canals transmit pain stimuli and nutrition through the tissues. Dentin gives the tooth its color, grayish white or yellowish.
Enamel: Tooth enamel is a hard tissue that coats the crown, it is the hardest tissue in the body! After fully forming, it cannot grow or repair itself, but can remineralize–or regain–lost minerals. To remineralize your teeth you must get enough calcium, phosphorous and vitamin D.
Possible Causes of Tooth Sensitivity:
No. 1. Receding gums, or gum recession
No. 2. Eating and drinking highly acidic food (soda, tea with lemon, citrus fruits, pickles)
No. 3. Worn, leaky fillings in your teeth, or broken teeth exposing dentin
No. 4. Plaque buildup on your teeth
No. 5. Grinding your teeth while you sleep, also called bruxism
No. 6. Recent dental work such as a crown, fillings, or tooth whitening
No. 7. Brushing your teeth with a hard-bristled toothbrush and brushing in a harsh sawing motion
What You Can Do:
To minimize tooth sensitivity you can brush your teeth using a soft-bristled brush and brushing gently to clean. Try to limit the exposure of your teeth to acidic foods, and begin using a densensitizing toothpaste (avoid abrasive toothpastes, such as for tartar control). If you suffer from bruxism (nighttime teeth grinding) you can wear a mouth guard.
Our dentists can also help with tooth sensitivity. For more information please call our dental team at 920-739-9612 today!