When you suffer from tooth sensitivity, drinking a cup of hot coffee or cold water can be intensely painful. Millions of Americans suffer from tooth sensitivity, and most are not aware that they can take steps to improve the condition of their teeth.
Tooth sensitivity is caused by the wearing down of the tooth enamel or the exposure of the tooth root due to the erosion of gum tissue. When tooth enamel wears down through overzealous brushing, aging, habitually consuming highly acidic foods or beverages, or the overuse of harsh toothpastes, the tooth enamel begins to wear thin, exposing the dentin underneath. The dentin of the tooth is porous and has tiny channels that lead to the nerve. As a result, the fluid inside the channels irritates the nerve when you eat or drink, causing pain. When the erosion of gum tissue is the problem, the root of the tooth becomes exposed. The root is covered with a softer material called cementum, which is much softer than tooth enamel and wears away quickly, exposing the dentin.
Although you cannot replace lost tooth enamel, you can take steps to reduce your sensitivity while protecting your teeth from decay. Dr. Zadeh, dentist in Beverly Hills, typically recommends a less abrasive toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes clean the teeth but will not wear away more tooth enamel. In addition, he can take steps to cover the tooth with a fluoride varnish to help cover the exposed area of the tooth and protect it.