Over the last two decades, the field of dentistry has reduced childhood cavities significantly, largely thanks to fluoride in water, sealants, and improved preventative care. Still, as many as 42% of children suffer from cavities in their baby teeth, but this isn’t the only cause of sensitivity. Cracks, sinusitis, and over-enthusiastic brushing are often to blame.
The Difference Between Sore and Sensitive Teeth
Hypersensitivity tends to be more generalized than pain. It responds to stimuli such as extreme temperatures and pressure, whereas pain is usually more constant. Sensitivity is a form of discomfort that passes as soon as the stimulus retreats. If your child complains about a toothache, ask specific questions to determine if certain things make the pain feel better or worse.
When Does Tooth Sensitivity Matter?
Not all sensitivity should be pathologized. New teeth are prone to natural sensitivity, which will pass on its own, just like the sensation caused by a new filling. More serious causes include:
- Cavities can cause shooting pains when exposed to hot, cold or sweet stimuli.
- When sensitivity is caused by over-brushing, enamel can wear away and gums might even retract. It’s critical to address this bad habit, especially if secondary teeth have already grown. because there is no way to encourage the enamel to reform.
- Constant sensitivity can be a sign of a serious infection or abscess.
- Children suffering from a sinus infection may experience tooth sensitivity caused by pressure in the nasal cavity.
Hypersensitivity needs to be taken seriously because it can be a sign of gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Untreated cavities can also develop into more serious dental issues, even in baby teeth. Always communicate with your dentist, who will develop an effective plan of action.