We often have patients attending the 24 hour emergency dental service complaining of sensitivity to sweet foods and drinks.
This can occur due to a variety of reasons, but primarily it is due to exposed dentine. Let’s have a quick look at the anatomy of a tooth.
The tooth comprises of a hard layer of enamel which serves as a protective shield. Beneath there is a softer layer called dentine. The dentine contains tubules which run from the main nerve center or pulp of the tooth.
If any dentine is exposed or irritated there is a change in the fluid dynamics within the tubules and this is translated by the pulp as pain/sensation to let you know that something is wrong.
These tubules may be exposed by dental caries, over-zealous brushing, dentine exposure secondary to acid erosion, gum recession, dental trauma or lost fillings.
Left untreated, over time the sensitivity may lead to further damage including irreversible damage to the pulp. It is important to identify the cause and to treat it appropriately.