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Do you go to take a bite out of something and you frequently feel discomfort when you do, particularly if it is hot, cold, sour, sweet or somewhat acidic? It could be that you have tooth sensitivity. The reason could be that your dentin, which is the layer just below the tooth enamel, is exposed or the enamel is so thin that your dentin can feel these things more acutely.

The dentin is the layer just outside the pulp, and that is where the nerves reside. The dentin also has pores that go all the way to the pulp. When you eat or drink things that are acidic, sweet, sour, cold or hot, these sensations can travel through the pores and be felt by the nerves. Even fairly small changes in pressure on your teeth can cause discomfort if the dentin is exposed for the most part.

So how does the dentin get exposed? Foods and drinks that are acidic, like fruits and sodas, can wear down enamel if you eat and drink them too frequently. Fruits are still good for you, but you may want to eat or drink something that is more neutral or basic along with them to counteract the acidity. Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled brush can also wear enamel down. And of course, if your tooth has undergone some breakage, that can open the doors to the dentin.

If the enamel is just weakened and not fully gone, then we may recommend a fluoride toothpaste or apply a fluoride gel to the teeth. Fluoride is a very useful mineral for strengthening enamel. If the enamel is gone, then a restorative treatment may be needed to repair the damage, so you can eat and drink without worrying about discomfort.

Our team is always happy to help you here at Jerry L. Butler, D.D.S., M.A.G.D in Boone, North Carolina. If you ever need anything, don’t hesitate to call, as we are here to help you stay healthy. If you have questions concerning your wisdom teeth, we’ll be happy to answer those for you.