Dental pain and sensitivity can come in many different forms, some of which are annoying, and some of which are agonizing. When either your gums or your teeth are sensitive, you might be annoyed because that discomfort can affect your eating habits. But should you also be worried that you might have a significant oral health issue that could cause you even more problems down the road? Let’s discuss sensitive gums vs sensitive teeth. You’ll learn what each symptom means and how your dentist can help you find relief.
If your gums hurt when you floss or brush, or if they seem swollen and tender, it is possible that they suffered some minor damage. For example, food with a hard edge might have irritated them and is causing some temporary discomfort. However, it is possible that a bigger problem is developing. Gum sensitivity is often a symptom of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. If you have gingivitis, you may be experiencing bleeding, red gums and persistent bad breath in addition to the gum sensitivity.
If a tooth, or several teeth, hurt when they are exposed to hot or cold temperatures, any number of dental problems could be to blame. For example, the enamel may have become worn thin, which allows outside substances to irritate the sensitive inner layers of the teeth. It is also possible that you have an infection or that gum disease has caused the gums to recede. When the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, it exposes the tooth roots, which are much more sensitive to temperatures changes and acidic substances than the upper portion of the teeth.
Treatment and Prevention
In many cases, missteps in oral hygiene are a major culprit behind the dental problems that cause sensitive gums and teeth. You may be able to avoid such issues altogether if you diligently brush and floss your teeth and visit your dentist in Creve Coeur for a routine cleaning every six months.
But what if you are already experiencing some sensitivity in your mouth? Your dentist will carefully examine your teeth and gums and try to pinpoint the cause of the problem. If gum disease is to blame, they may recommend that you undergo periodontal therapy to stop the disease’s progression and give your damaged tissue a chance to heal. If another issue is responsible for the sensitivity, your dentist will make a personalized treatment recommendation according to your unique situation.
Gum and teeth sensitivity are more than just mere annoyances — they may be warning signs of a serious oral health problem!
About the Authors
Drs. James and Jenna Feigenbaum are a father-daughter team of dentists who are proud to serve residents of Creve Coeur and the greater St. Louis area. They provide many general dentistry services, including exams, cleanings, and periodontal therapy. To learn how they can help you cope with gum or teeth sensitivity, or any other oral health concern you may have, contact our office at 314-567-1777.