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Which Infections Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Posted on 6/3/2024 by Northstar Dental
illustration of a cracked toothTooth sensitivity can occur for different reasons. One of the common causes is infection. Infections affecting the root of a tooth or the nearby gum tissue can cause increased sensitivity. Below are the specific types of infections that often lead to tooth sensitivity.

Tooth Decay (Caries)

Tooth decay, also known as cavities or caries, is one of the most common dental problems globally. It happens when bacteria within the mouth produce acids that gradually erode the enamel. As the decay advances, it reaches the deeper layers of the tooth, including the dentin. When the dentin is exposed, sensations from hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods can reach the nerves, resulting in sensitivity.

Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth can develop from various causes, such as trauma, teeth grinding, or biting down on hard objects. When a tooth cracks, it can house bacteria, leading to inflammation in the pulp. This inflammation could result in an abscess or an infection. Such an infection might lead to sensitivity, particularly when consuming cold or hot foods.

Gingivitis and Periodontitis

Gingivitis represents the initial stage of gum disease. It emerges from the accumulation of plaque, a sticky bacterial film, on both the teeth and gums. When neglected, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis. In the case of periodontitis, the infection extends deeper into the tissues surrounding the tooth, including the bone. Consequently, this can lead to gum recession, uncovering the delicate tooth roots and causing sensitivity.

Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is a pus-filled pocket caused by a bacterial infection. It can cause severe toothaches, heightened sensitivity to hot and cold food, and, occasionally, fever.

Tooth sensitivity is a common problem in the US, affecting nearly a third of the population. If you notice symptoms of sensitivity, schedule a consultation with a dental professional to address the problem quickly. Dental specialists leverage extensive expertise to inspect, diagnose, and recommend effective strategies to ease discomfort.
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