Does sipping a glass of ice-cold water make you pucker your lips? Maybe putting pressure on a tooth causes sudden pain? You may be suffering from tooth sensitivity. Although the discomfort is only temporary, it’s not something you want to ignore. It can be caused by various factors, some of which may cost you your tooth if you don’t see a dentist. Don’t put your smile at risk. Here’s how to determine if you need an emergency dentist for tooth sensitivity in State College.
Causes of Sensitive Teeth
According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, over 12% of people experience sensitive teeth. It can be a common side effect after having certain dental procedures and will subside in a few days without any treatment. However, if you haven’t had any dental work, tooth sensitivity is a red flag that you need to see a dentist sooner rather than later. Several things can contribute to the issue, like:
- Tooth Decay: A cavity can cause sensitivity in a single tooth, especially when having any foods or drinks that are hot, cold, or acidic. With no treatment, decay can reach the inner layer of your tooth, which will cause the sensitivity to turn into a throbbing toothache. Although you don’t need a same-day appointment for a cavity, don’t wait to have it treated to avoid a dental emergency later.
- Fracture: Some fractures can be undetectable to the naked eye. Often, sensitivity is the only sign. Whether the break is visible or not, your tooth will be at risk of irreversible damage without quick treatment. Contact your dentist to explain the situation, and they’ll determine if you need an appointment right away or if you can wait until their next availability.
- Failing Restoration: Failing fillings or crowns can cause sensitivity. If your restoration is older than 10 years, they probably need to be replaced. Unless a restoration falls off, you can schedule an appointment with your dentist within a few days.
- Worn Enamel: Your enamel gets thinner with age from multiple factors, like daily wear and tear. Unfortunately, your enamel can’t regenerate, which can lead to tooth sensitivity. Although it isn’t an immediate danger to your smile, it’s best to contact your dentist for the solutions you need to stop your pain and preserve your natural teeth.
- Exposed Tooth Roots: Gum disease can erode the gum line, causing the roots of the teeth to be exposed. Without any treatment, your teeth can loosen and fall out. Don’t delay seeing your dentist to stop the infection in its tracks.
If you’re unsure if your situation requires an emergency visit, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist. They’ll give you the information you need to make the best decision for your smile.
About Dr. Kevin Labosky
Dr. Labosky achieved his dental degree from the Temple University School of Dentistry and has completed additional education at many prestigious institutes. As a member of various professional organizations, including the American Dental Association, your smile is in good hands. Contact our office today to find the source of your tooth sensitivity.