What does it mean to have sensitive teeth?
If you experience pain or discomfort when consuming foods or beverages that are hot, cold, sweet, or sour; when brushing or flossing; or even when breathing sharp, cold air, you may have sensitive teeth.
What is the reason for sensitive teeth?
Common causes of tooth sensitivity include:
- Over-brushing – brushing your teeth too hard may wear down enamel or irritate the gum line, causing it to recede and expose the tooth’s sensitive roots.
- Cracked teeth – a crack or chip in your tooth may expose the underlying dentin or may fill with bacteria from plaque, causing the nerve to inflame.
- Teeth grinding – over time, grinding or clenching your teeth can erode enamel and expose dentin.
- Gum disease – gum disease leads to tooth decay which breaks down enamel; gum disease can also lead to infection which may attack the tooth’s roots or cause the gum line to recede.
- Tooth whitening – using products with peroxide or baking soda can seriously aggravate exposed roots or dentin.
- Age – studies have shown that tooth sensitivity occurs most often in people between the ages of 25 and 30.
It is possible to experience tooth sensitivity after routine dental procedures such as the placement of a filling or crown, tooth restoration, or even teeth cleaning. Such sensitivity is temporary; if it does not cease after four to six weeks please consult us.
How should I take care of my teeth if they are sensitive?
Tooth sensitivity is very treatable, no matter what the cause. Here are a few remedies you can take advantage of at home:
- Try a desensitizing toothpaste which contains chemicals that block sensations like hot and cold from reaching the nerves in your teeth.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that will be gentler on both your teeth and gums.
- Switch to a fluoride mouthwash.
- Avoid acidic foods such as tea, tomatoes, and citrus fruits.
- Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing twice every day and flossing once daily.
Depending on the cause and severity of your sensitivity, you may benefit from professional treatment. If you suffer from sensitive teeth, please be sure to contact us. We can set up an appointment to discuss what is bothering you and determine the best way to address the problem.