Dread the ice-cold cup of water? Does the thought of a sugary snack send shivers down your spine? Tooth sensitivity is a common dental ailment that can be severe enough to drastically change your diet and lifestyle. Tooth sensitivity has many causes, which may help explain why the condition is prevalent. Sensitive teeth is not enjoyable. Regardless of the cause of your sensitive teeth, there are some personal diet and habits you can quit eating or doing to reduce or eliminate the pain and discomfort of sensitive teeth.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
Sensitive teeth are caused by a number of things. The most common causes include:
- Harsh brushing. If you brush too hard or too fast, you could be scrapping off the enamel on your teeth. Tooth enamel is what protects your teeth from plaque and germs and it also protects the nerves in your teeth. When enamel is destroyed, the nerves in your teeth can become exposed, leading to pain and sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks.
- Eating highly acidic foods. Like brushing too harshly, acidic foods such as citrus and tomatoes eat away at tooth enamel.
- Clenching your teeth. Dental patients with Bruxism may have sensitive teeth because the friction of grinding and clenching of the teeth can chip tooth enamel and weaken teeth that may make them vulnerable to cracking.
- Fractured or cracked teeth. Teeth that have been cracked or fractured expose the sensitive inside nerves and tooth root to possible germs and debris from the outside.
- Tooth decay. Trapped plaque can infiltrate your tooth and eventually reach the root of the tooth. When the tooth root is exposed to hot and cold, sweet or even air, pain results.
- Receding gums. Whether by hereditary or gum disease, receding gums can expose roots of teeth that are normally covered and protected.
- Teeth whitening. Whether you’re an ardent user of teeth whitening toothpaste, regularly use at-home teeth whitening kits or go in and have a professional whitening, the bleaching agents that make your pearly whites white can damage your teeth enamel, making your teeth vulnerable and sensitive.
- Recent dental work. Patients may experience tooth sensitivity after a dental procedure like root canals, and root planing, and crown The tooth sensitivity experienced from these dental procedures should go away after a week or two. If the pain and sensitivity don’t subside, consult your dentist right away as there could be other dental issues and infections.
Remedies for Tooth Sensitivity
The cause and severity of your tooth sensitivity will determine the best remedy of your sensitive teeth. The most basic tooth sensitivity remedy is a desensitizing teeth toothpaste. These toothpastes contain ingredients that keep painful sensations from traveling into the tooth. If this isn’t enough to relieve your tooth sensitivity pain, our dentists may apply a fluoride gel in the office. Fillings, bonds, crowns, or inlay may be suggested if the in-office fluoride gel isn’t enough. For patients with the most severe, persistent sensitive tooth pain, a root canal or gum graft may be recommended. This method will depend on the source of your sensitive teeth.
If sensitive teeth are negatively impacting your life, contact us at Galleria Dentistry today to schedule an appointment. Our dentists provide a variety of dental services that address the causes of sensitive teeth as well as solutions to your tooth discomfort.