It is easy to panic at the first sign of discomfort around your teeth. In many cases, you may immediately fear that this means you have a cavity. This may not be the case. Tooth sensitivity is a common occurrence that is much less severe than tooth decay.
Tooth sensitivity is caused by a reduction in enamel on your teeth. This can come from brushing too severely with a brush whose bristles are too firm. It can also come from consuming too many acidic foods or even from acid reflux.
A cavity is caused by the enamel being worn away to expose a hole in the tooth. This allows bacteria into the center of the tooth and creates a sharp pain that will need to be filled for your dental health. While the two pains can be similar, there are a few key differences.
If you are experiencing a sharp pain that is consistent, whether you are eating or not, it is more likely to be a cavity. You can also inspect your teeth. If you see black spots on any of your teeth or find that some of your teeth have unusually sharp edges that were not always there, you may have a cavity. If you suspect that your tooth pain is caused by a cavity, be sure to come in and visit the dentist.
We can evaluate your pain and use x-rays to determine the best treatment for you. If your pain is only experienced when you eat or drink things that are hot or things that are cold, it is more likely to simply be sensitive teeth. Pain from sensitive teeth tends to affect the entire mouth, while cavity pain tends to focus on a specific tooth.
Coming in to visit the dentist is always a good idea, even if you’re only experiencing tooth sensitivity. As dental professionals, we can evaluate the situation and help you determine the best course of action.