Enamel, the outer part of a tooth, is one the strongest parts of the human body, but its strength has limits. When enamel wears down, nerve endings become exposed and your teeth can become sensitive.
Tooth sensitivity, also known as dentin hypersensitivity, is something that almost everyone experiences at least one time in their life. Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem that involves discomfort or pain in teeth when consuming hot or cold beverages such as coffee, tea, cold water, ice cream, and hot soup, or even when breathing in cold air. The pain is often sudden and sharp, but it is usually temporary. For help finding a local dental professional, search for a dentist near you.
Common Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth
Most people who experience pain or discomfort from tooth sensitivity report it occurs due to at least one of the following:
- Cold air
- Sugary foods
- Hot foods or beverages
- Cold foods or beverages
- Acidic foods or beverages
- Brushing your teeth
Common Causes Of Tooth Sensitivity
The most common ways that a tooth’s exterior might wear down and cause sensitivity include:
- Gum disease causes receding gums, which exposes the root of the tooth. The root of a tooth has nerves at the bottom of it, which will cause sensitivity.
- Brushing your teeth too hard will wear down the enamel of your teeth.
- Tooth grinding wears down the enamel on your teeth.
- Teeth whitening may be the cause for tooth sensitivity, but it is usually temporary.
- A cracked tooth or filling may be the culprit of the sensitivity, due to the root or inside of the tooth becoming exposed to outside bacteria.
The best way to determine the cause of your sensitive teeth is by making an appointment with your dentist. They can then review your symptoms, make an accurate diagnosis and give you their recommended treatment plan.
How To Prevent And Treat Sensitive Teeth
You can reduce your chances of developing sensitive teeth by keeping your mouth as healthy as possible. Brushing and flossing as recommended by your dentist or hygienist can help reduce the chance that you will have tooth sensitivity.
- Avoid acidic foods and beverages
- Use mouthwash with fluoride
- Use a softer recommended toothbrush
- Floss as often as possible
- Brush after eating
- Avoid tobacco products
Your dentist or dental hygienist can help you and see what the best treatment is. Common treatments include:
- Toothpaste for sensitive teeth
- Fluoride gel
- Fillings that cover exposed roots
- mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding at night
- Root canal
Who Can Help Me With Tooth Sensitivity?
It’s important not to shy away from dental care because of tooth sensitivity. Ignoring your sensitive teeth can lead to other oral health problems, especially if the sensitivity causes you to brush poorly making you vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, make an appointment with one of our general dentists. To find a dental office near you, visit our locations page.