Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults

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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults

Once my children were grown and on their own, I decided it was time to care of me. One of the first things I did was make an appointment with the dentist. I quickly discovered that years of not keeping up with my own dental care had taken a heavy toll on my teeth. Whereas I thought my teeth were just fine, the dentist pointed out several problems that were going to require a lot of work. When talking to friends, I found out that many of them were in the same boat. This blog is for people like me who just did not have time to keep up with their own dental care.

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Causes Of Tooth Sensitivity

Has tooth sensitivity ever interfered with your enjoyment of things like ice cream or hot coffee? If you're like many people, you've probably learned to live with the temporary tooth pain that comes with hot or cold foods and beverages. However, you may be able to remedy the situation once you understand the causes of tooth sensitivity.

Possible Causes of Minor Tooth Sensitivity

If the pain only lasts for a few moments and is not sharp or severe, you probably don't have a serious dental issue (yet). Possible causes of minor tooth discomfort after consuming hot or cold foods and beverages include:

  • Small cavity
  • Loose filling
  • Exposed root tissue due to gum recession
  • Worn enamel or toothbrush abrasion from brushing too hard
  • Exposed dentin from overuse of whitening strips

Many people experience minor tooth sensitivity on a regular basis and live with it because they assume it is normal. If you feel discomfort from tooth sensitivity more often than not, this is not normal. It's important to make a dentist appointment as soon as possible, because a minor issue can quickly turn into something more serious if it's ignored.

Possible Causes of Sharp Tooth Sensitivity Pain

When you bite down on hot or cold foods, does your sensitive tooth cause you to feel sharp pain? If so, here are a few potential causes:

  • Cracked tooth
  • Tooth cavity
  • Tooth abscess
  • Broken or loose filling
  • Exposed nerve endings

Visit your dentist to have the problem diagnosed and treated before it worsens. Sharp tooth pain often signals a problem that won't fix itself or just go away. If your tooth's pulp is exposed or infected, your dentist may send you to an endodontist for root canal treatment.

Possible Causes of Dull or Lingering Tooth Sensitivity Pain

After consuming something hot or cold, do you experience a lingering pain that lasts for longer than a few minutes? This symptom usually signals a problem deep within the pulp (nerve center) of your tooth. It's possible the pulp is inflamed due to physical trauma or deep tooth decay, so don't put off making a dental appointment.

Possible Causes of Acute Tooth Sensitivity Pain

Acute tooth pain that lasts all day usually means the tooth's pulp is dying or infected. Often, this is caused by a deep cavity that has either entered the pulp or is too close to it. You need to see your dentist right away because you likely need a root canal to remove the diseased pulp tissue.

If your tooth sensitivity pain lasts for three or more days and flares up when exposed to both hot and cold temperatures, you need to visit a dentist like Yap Adwen P DDS - Family Dentistry to have the problem evaluated and treated. Sometimes, pain caused by serious problems can feel like tooth sensitivity. A dental check-up is really the only way to have the underlying cause of pain diagnosed.