There’s nothing better than enjoying that first ice cream of the season.
The way that it sits perfectly atop of the cone or nestled in the dish calls for you to take a bite and savour the flavours.
Except you never get to fully enjoy the refreshing taste because you’re focused on the unbearable sensation of something cold hitting your teeth.
You know that it hurts, but do you know why? Receding gums may be the culprit and it is more than a cosmetic issue.
What Causes Receding Gums?
There are numerous things that cause your gums to recede. One of the biggest contributors is periodontal diseases, which are bacterial gum infections that break down gum tissue and the bones that support your teeth. These diseases are the main cause of gum recession.
Some lifestyle choices can also lead to receding gums. People who smoke or chew tobacco are more likely to damage the vascularity of their gums, leading to gum recession. Chewing tobacco is more harmful because it leads to direct irritation and the possibility of oral cancer in addition to receding gums.
If you have piercings in and around your mouth, you are at risk of not only damaging your teeth, but gum recession as well. The best way to avoid damage is to get into a habit of good oral hygiene.
All of these causes contribute to exposed dentin, which is what makes your teeth so sensitive to different temperatures.
What is Dentin?
Dentin is a calcified material that has tiny holes called tubules.
Dentin is meant to cover those tubules. If it doesn’t, the nerves in the tubules are exposed. Because they’re extremely sensitive to temperature, you’ll experience pain when you eat something cold. The more tubules that are exposed, the more pain you will feel.
How Can I Fix Receding Gums?
If you visit your dentist because you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, they will run a sharp dental tool over your dentin surface to see how you react. If you jerk away or act startled, there is a strong chance that there is some exposed dentin causing your pain. Once the problem is identified, your dentist can come up with a plan to treat it.
In some cases, other factors such as a crack in the tooth or a hyperemic pulp are the cause for sensitivity. For other people, the exposed dentin may need to be sealed with a small composite restoration.
If you want to get back to enjoying the simple things like an ice cream or an iced coffee, call Dr. Andrea Stevens today.