If you sometimes find the taste of something hot or cold painful on your teeth, you may suffer from sensitive teeth.
Sensitive teeth is a common problem which may be caused by cavities and fractured teeth.
But it can also be caused by worn tooth enamel, a cracked tooth, or an exposed tooth root.
Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the body and it protects the crowns of healthy teeth.
The part underneath the enamel is called dentin, which is less dense than enamel.
The dentin contains small hollow tubes or canals called tubules. When the dentin loses its protective covering, or is exposed to the foods you eat and drink, the tubules allow hot, cold, acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth.
This causes hypersensitivity and occasional discomfort but fortunately, the irritation does not cause permanent damage.
Following proper oral hygiene helps prevent the gums from receding and causing the dentin to become exposed.
Brushing your teeth incorrectly or even brushing too much or too aggressively can cause your gums to recede.
Teeth that do not touch properly or people who clench and grind at night can cause enamel to wear down and expose the underlying dentin.
There are many options to help with sensitive teeth and enamel that is wearing down.
Your dentist will advise you on the best daily routine to minimize tooth sensitivity.