When you take a sip of your morning coffee or bite into a cold popsicle, do you quickly pucker your lips from discomfort? You might be dealing with a bit of sensitivity, but are your teeth or gums the issue? There is a difference between sensitive gums vs. sensitive teeth. Your dentist will get to the root of the problem to give you the relief you need to enjoy your favorite foods and drinks again.
Gum sensitivity occurs when the gingival tissue is irritated. Often, this results from the early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis. Gum disease is a preventable infection that occurs in the gingival tissue. Most often, it’s the result of poor oral hygiene habits that have allowed tartar to accumulate near the gum line. This makes the tissue red and swollen. You may even experience slight bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth.
Thankfully, gingivitis can be treated easily without causing any lingering damage, but if you wait to get treatment, the infection can reach advanced stages. At this point, your gum tissue may begin to pull away from your teeth, leaving your roots exposed. This can lead to more sensitivity and discomfort while you deal with the long-term consequences of the infection, like tooth loss.
Tooth sensitivity can occur for several reasons, such as an untreated cavity, small fracture, or gum recession. It can also result from worn enamel. As your enamel thins, it causes more of your dentin to be exposed. Your dentin contains tiny tubes connecting to the inner layer of your tooth called the pulp. The pulp is the nerve center of your tooth, which is why you may experience sensitivity when your enamel is no longer strong enough to protect your dentin.
Treatment and Prevention
Gum and tooth sensitivity are often a symptom of a larger problem. Your dentist will pinpoint the cause to restore the health of your smile while stopping your pain. Depending on the underlying cause, your treatment will vary, such as needing periodontal therapy or replacing a loose filling.
Your dentist may also suggest the use of a desensitizing toothpaste to help block pain signals from your nerves to the brain. A fluoride treatment can also help strengthen your enamel to stop tooth sensitivity.
You can help prevent the discomfort by maintaining your home oral hygiene habits and visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.
Stop Your Dental Pain Today!
If gum or tooth sensitivity is persistent, don’t wait to get the relief you need. Your dentist will find the cause of the problem, so you can eat and drink without any concern.
About Dr. Sanae Berrada
Dr. Sanae Berrada earned her dental degree in 1997. After completing a post-graduate program, she earned her certificate in orthodontics. She regularly continues her education to remain well-versed in many areas of specialty, like gum disease. If you’re experiencing tooth or gum sensitivity, Dr. Berrada can stop your pain with a personalized treatment plan. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with your dedicated dentist in Fairfax.