If you're finding that cold or hot foods — such as ice cream and coffee — cause your teeth pain, you may have sensitive teeth. The American Dental Association (ADA) lists some of the causes of sensitive teeth:

  • Tooth decay (cavities)
  • Fractured teeth
  • Worn fillings
  • Gum disease
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Exposed tooth root

In healthy teeth, there's a layer of enamel that protects the crowns, which are the areas right above the gum line. Right under the gum line there's cementum, a thin layer which protects the tooth root. If you have sensitive teeth, it's the next layer — dentin —that you should be most concerned about. 

"Underneath both the enamel and the cementum is dentin," the ADA states. "Dentin is less dense than enamel and cementum and contains microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes or canals). When dentin loses its protective covering of enamel or cementum these tubules allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth."

There are many treatment options for sensitive teeth. Your dentist may suggest a particular one based on your individual case, as well as provide tips about how to improve your daily oral hygiene routine.

If you have problems with the alignment of your teeth or your bite, or are simply looking to improve your smile, Dr. Tanya Vaysman and her staff at Upper Eastside Orthodontists can help. They offer the highest quality orthodontic care in New York City. Rated as one of the Elite Invisalign Practices in the country, they are one of only four in New York City to have that designation. If you are interested in learning more, contact the practice at 888-378-2976 or go to their website to schedule an appointment.

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