Dentin is the layer of calcified tissue under the enamel and one of the four major components of the tooth. It is yellow and much less brittle than enamel. If the enamel becomes too thin or chipped, a tooth may appear yellow because the dentin is showing through. Unlike enamel, it is porous, and those with exposed dentin may have hypersensitive teeth. If you’ve ever experienced toothache after drinking something hot or cold, your dentin could be exposed.
If your gums recede and your dentin becomes exposed, food and drink that never hurt your teeth before may begin to cause pain. This is because dentin is porous, and the tubules in within dentin allow substances to directly stimulate the nerves inside your tooth. This results in a shooting pain similar to the one felt when a cavity gets too wide and deep.
Dentin is not meant to be exposed. Protecting the enamel layer is the best way to maintain oral health. Once enamel is gone, it’s gone forever. So, maintaining and strengthening enamel is necessary for protecting the sensitive layer of dentin underneath. To protect enamel, avoid sugary drinks and foods. Plaque that collects in and around the tooth contains bacteria that feed on sugar. When this bacteria comes in contact with sugar, it releases an acid that corrodes enamel. Consuming less sugary foods and drinks will allow your enamel to stay strong. Also, regularly brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist will keep your enamel strong and preserve the sensitive dentin underneath.
Treatment Options for Exposed Dentin
If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, schedule an appointment with Advanced Dental Care of Richmond for immediate treatment. We will give you fluoride varnish that will strengthen the existing enamel and dentin. A thorough, professional dental cleaning will allow your teeth to recover and avoid future sensitivity. For over 25 years, Dr. Straus and his team have provided cutting-edge dental services for families in Richmond. We are committed to helping patients repair and maintain their smiles.
Although visiting the dentist is the surest way to preserve your dentin layer, there are a few things you can do at home too. Using a soft bristle toothbrush with low abrasive, fluoride toothpaste will gently clean out any holes in the dentin. Look for fluoride toothpaste with the official ADA seal. These certified toothpastes will push calcium and phosphate around the tooth and strengthen it against enamel-eating acids.
Protect Your Dentine by Calling Today!
Personal dental hygiene is an essential for properly maintaining your overall oral health. Check out our website for an extensive look at our variety of services, or call 804-741-4177 for to schedule an appointment.