Gina Liggio Maestri, DDS

Dental Blog

What is Tooth Sensitivity

Hannah Johnson - Tuesday, May 28, 2019

What is Tooth Sensitivity?

Ever wondered why you feel a painful sting in your teeth when eating or drinking something hot or acidic, biting into something cold, chewing on some ice, or enjoying a frozen treat? The answer to your question may be tooth sensitivity.

Tooth sensitivity is when a person experiences a sharp pain in their teeth when they consume hot, cold, sweet, or very acidic foods or drinks; even breathing in cold air can trigger tooth sensitivity. This is a common problem affecting more than half of the world’s population.

What causes tooth sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is usually caused by dentin, the bulk of a tooth beneath the enamel, that is exposed due to receded gums. If your tooth’s dentin is exposed, then you will most likely experience that shock of pain when the dentin comes in contact with something hot, cold, or acidic. Exposed tooth roots are not protected by enamel like the rest of your teeth, but are protected by soft tissue. Once this soft tissue is lost, usually by hard brushing or harsh toothpaste, the dentin is exposed.

If you are experiencing tooth pain and think you may have sensitive teeth, let your dentist know so they can examine the problem and help choose the best treatment for your problem.

Is tooth sensitivity preventable?

Tooth sensitivity is not 100% preventable; however, you can reduce your chances of getting tooth sensitivity by keeping your mouth as healthy as possible with good oral hygiene. Brushing low abrasion toothpaste and flossing properly can help reduce your chances of developing tooth sensitivity. Another tip to help reduce tooth sensitivity is maintaining a non-acidic diet.

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Myth or Fact: Can Alcohol & Tobacco Cause Mouth Disease or Oral Cancer?

Hannah Johnson - Tuesday, May 14, 2019

 

Myth or Fact: Could alcohol and tobacco consumption be the cause of mouth disease or even oral cancer?

Scientists have been saying for years now that tobacco products are proven to increase the risk of oral cancer, but what role does alcohol play in contributing to the risk of mouth disease and mouth cancer? After ongoing and intensive research, scientists now believe that alcohol and tobacco synergistically interact with one another, increasing each other’s harmful effects. Alcohol abuse, defined as more than 21 standard drinks in one week, is said to be the second largest risk factor for the development of oral cancer.

Let’s breakdown the overall effect that alcohol and tobacco have on a person’s mouth and how they work synergistically:

Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on a person’s cell walls which enhances tobacco carcinogens, a substance with the ability to cause cancer in living tissue, in mouth tissue. Additionally, heavy alcohol consumption can reduce the body’s natural ability to use antioxidants to prevent and fight off the formation of cancer cells.

Although more research is being conducted on alcohol and tobacco consumption and their relationship to oral cancer, it is safe to say that eliminating the use of tobacco products and drinking in moderation will reduce your risk of developing oral cancer.

 

Sources: https://oralcancerfoundation.org/understanding/alcohol-connection/

 

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