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When Should Tooth Sensitivity Trigger a Visit to a Dentist?

May 28, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — costellodental @ 10:19 pm
A man with tooth sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can sound like a pretty low priority at first. In fact, for most people, sensitivity in any part of the body is common. While you may think the same could be true for teeth, it could mean that you’re experiencing a dental emergency. By ignoring it, you could be raising your risk for additional oral problems later. To learn when you should call an emergency dentist for help, keep reading!

Consider the Cause of Your Sensitivity

Teeth can become sensitive as a result of enamel erosion. This process can cause the dentin to become exposed. Not only is this layer weaker, but it lets stimuli reach the dental nerves. This can cause sensitivity as well as sudden and painful reactions when your mouth is exposed to strongly hot or cold temperatures, acidic foods, and other stimuli.

Lost enamel can occur for a variety of reasons, including the following:

  • Tooth decay or cavities
  • Fractured teeth
  • Damaged restorations (i.e., fillings, crowns, etc.)
  • Bruxism or tooth grinding
  • Tooth roots exposed due to gum disease

Is Tooth Sensitivity Urgent?

Tooth sensitivity is usually not a cause for urgent concern, especially if it goes away on its own. All you should do is monitor your symptoms going forward and make sure they don’t get worse.

With that said, exceptions exist. For example, tooth sensitivity that is long-lasting (several days to weeks) can be disruptive to your daily life. If this is the case, you will want to call a dentist. This could be due to a tooth infection or major oral damage. In the most severe cases, you could experience tooth or jawbone loss.

If you aren’t 100% sure if your sensitivity is an emergency, don’t hesitate to contact a dentist and schedule an appointment. They can better confirm the cause of your symptoms and the severity of your condition.

How Can an Emergency Dentist Help?

There are several ways to treat tooth sensitivity depending on the cause. This includes:

  • Fluoride Therapy: This in-office technique prevents your tooth nerves from transmitting as many sensations. A gel is placed on your tooth and can be done in a single appointment.
  • Dental Crowns: Dentists can place a crown onto a tooth if the cause stems from injury or decay. The restoration covers the sensitive area, ensuring your dentin is less exposed.
  • Root Canal Therapy: While it is rare, severe and persistent sensitivity may require root canal therapy. This procedure involves removing infected tissue causing your ache, cleaning the inside of your tooth, and replacing the tissue with gutta percha.

While tooth sensitivity isn’t always dangerous, it can be. For that reason, keep these facts in mind the next time the symptom appears.

About Costello & DeHart Dental Excellence

The dentists of Costello & DeHart Dental Excellence offer same-day emergency treatment and evening and weekend availability as well as accept a wide variety of dental insurance plans. They are prepared to treat a wide range of dental problems and symptoms, so you can get back to smiling without any interruptions. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, contact their office today!

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