Many dental patients find that their teeth become more sensitive as time goes on. And, in fact, every year as the weather turns colder our Saint Louis dentists hear from people who are experiencing new or increased dental sensitivity.
You may feel dental discomfort when you walk out and your teeth meet a cold burst of air. Your teeth may also react to cold beverages and ice cream. Alternatively, you may experience sensitivity when your teeth are cold and they are exposed to something warm, like coffee.
So why does this happen?
Generally, this type of dental sensitivity occurs because your dental enamel has changed in consistency and/or thinned. Dental enamel is the outermost layer of your tooth—when you look in the mirror and see white and shiny teeth, what you’re really looking at is your dental enamel. Enamel is designed to protect the more sensitive, inner layers of your tooth—the dentin and the dental pulp.
Many things can cause your enamel to become weaker and thin. Acidic substances, for example, cause dental enamel to demineralize and wear down. Oral bacteria can also infiltrate your dental enamel and bore holes into the inner tooth structure. Alternatively, if you suffer from bruxism—chronic dental grinding—the pressure that this condition puts on your enamel leads to dental deterioration.
When enamel thins, it may leave dental nerves too exposed. Thus, changes in temperature, and extreme temperatures in general, can activate these nerves and cause dental discomfort.
The good news is that there are treatments that can strengthen and fortify your enamel, and there are treatments that can cover your enamel with a strong and resilient restorative substance. If you want to learn more about how our team addresses insufficient enamel, reach out to our Saint Louis dentists for more information. You can always reach us by phone or by using the Contact Us page on our website.