When Teeth Become Sensitive To Pressure
If your teeth are uncomfortable, or painful, when biting down, you should see a dentist as soon as possible.
When we talk about having sensitive teeth, we usually mean sensitivity to both hot and cold temperatures when we eat or drink. This type of sensitivity is often caused by an erosion of the enamel surface on the teeth. This can be prevented with better general dental care and an altered diet, albeit those already affected can have various treatments including special toothpastes and even dental veneers to help.
This is not the only type of sensitive teeth that we see at our Ashby and Swadlincote dental practice though. Although less common, some people find that their teeth are prone to sensitivity when they bite down on them, even when eating. This can range from merely a little uncomfortable, to downright painful. Whatever the level of discomfort though, you should have this checked by one of the team at Alexandra Dental Care as soon as you can.
Causes of teeth that are sensitive to pressure
There are a number of potential issues that can lead to this problem and this is why it is important to have it professionally evaluated. Your dentist will be able to diagnose the cause of the problem and treat it accordingly.
One of the most likely causes of this type of discomfort is that you may have a broken tooth. This may not be obvious, and the tooth may even look complete when you look at it in the mirror. Even a small crack though, can cause a tooth to become sensitive when pressure is applied. This discomfort is only likely to get worse if the tooth is not treated.
Depending on the nature of the break, a filling or a dental crown are likely treatments which will restore the tooth and eliminate any associated discomfort.
Loose or cracked fillings
No type of dental filling is as strong as a healthy natural tooth and although most will last for a long time, they may eventually crack or break. Patients who have had amalgam fillings for some time are especially prone to this. Not only can the amalgam break, but it also can expand and contract, potentially causing it to come away from the enamel of the tooth. Although this can also happen with composite fillings; the nature of the materials used in the white cosmetic fillings that we supply at Alexandra Dental Care, means that they adhere better to the enamel and are therefore less likely to move away, avoiding a gap between tooth and filling.
Providing that there has been no further decay, you may simply need to have the tooth refilled if this problem is detected.
We may think that it is the tooth that hurts under pressure, but, in some cases, it may be the gums instead. This is most likely if we suffer from periodontal disease. Whilst prevention is the best option available, those who already have this may benefit from treatments such as a scale and polish, or, for more severe cases, a ‘deep’ periodontal clean. If your teeth hurt under pressure and your gums appear red or inflamed, this could well be the reason for your discomfort.
Root canal infections
If applying pressure to your teeth is an issue, it may also be a sign that you have a root canal infection. This occurs inside the tooth, where the nerves are located, and is therefore not visible to the naked eye. X-rays can be taken to detect this problem and the most likely treatment is then a root canal procedure. This removes any infected bacteria from inside the tooth and helps to retain your natural tooth. During this procedure, the nerves will also be removed and you will lose sensation from this tooth. You should take care to keep this in mind when you are eating and avoid using that tooth to bite onto harder foods as this could potentially cause it to fracture.
Like most oral problems, all of these can be avoided, or at least have the risk minimised, through good long term dental care. Not only should you see one of our dentists every six months for your regular oral examination, but we strongly recommend that you see a hygienist too. This will enable you, not only to have your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular and ongoing basis, but also to keep you up to date with how well you are brushing and flossing at home. Without these regular ‘updates’, we may well fall into old habits and not give our teeth and gums the care and attention that they deserve.
If you live in the Ashby, Swadlincote or nearby areas and would like to book an appointment to see one of our dental team, you can do so by calling us on 01283 216347. We look forward to being of assistance!Google+