Dental conditions

Dental conditions refer to various problems which affect the teeth such as tooth decay which in turn leads to sensitive teeth. Other conditions include gum disease and root nerve damage.

Tooth decay and sensitive teeth

This is a very common dental condition which causes toothache and other symptoms as a result. Tooth decay develops due to a build up of plaque and tartar on the teeth which attack the surface of the teeth.

This attack gradually erodes the hard surface or enamel to the extent that a small hole or cavity appears which exposes the middle layer or dentin. This layer is particularly sensitive to hot or cold substances which react by causing pain or toothache.

Tooth sensitivity is one of several symptoms which include bad breath, toothache and discoloured markings on the teeth.

Gum disease and sensitive teeth

This often goes hand in hand with tooth decay. Gum disease is also caused by a build up of plaque which contains millions of bacteria. These bacteria irritate the gums causing them to become red, swollen and sore. They often bleed when brushed with a toothbrush.

There are two types of gum disease: gingivitis (mild version) and periodontitis (severe version).

One of the classic symptoms of gum disease is sensitive teeth. But this is often accompanied by other signs such as bad taste in the mouth, receding gums, loose teeth and eventual loss of a tooth.

Root nerve damage and sensitive teeth

The centre of a tooth consists of the pulp � an inner channel within the root canal system which contains nerves and blood vessels. These run the length of the tooth from the top down to the roots at the bottom.

But the pulp is prone to infection as a result of tooth decay which causes these nerves and blood vessels to die. If this happens then the tooth itself dies.

A further risk with this is that of an abscess. An abscess develops if pus collects in tissues at the bottom of the tooth. These tissues become swollen and inflamed which cause extreme pain.

An abscess causes a range of symptoms which include a swollen face, bad taste in the mouth, raised temperature and sensitive teeth.

If your teeth are sensitive but this sensation is accompanied by other symptoms such as those mentioned above then see your dentist.

In the case of a suspected abscess � see your dentist as soon as possible.