In a nutshell, tooth sensitivity is caused by the gradual exposure of the softer part of your tooth that lies under the tooth enamel, called “dentine”. Dentine has tiny tubes (‘tubules’) that are filled with fluid. Eating or drinking foods that are hot, cold or sweet can cause this fluid to move. This fluid movement causes the nerve endings in your teeth to react in response, triggering a twinge of discomfort or a short, sharp pain.
A Few Common Things That Can Cause Your Teeth To Become Sensitive:
Brushing Too Hard
Dental hygiene habits such as brushing too frequently, too vigorously or with a hard-bristled toothbrush can eventually wear down tooth enamel. These can also cause receding gums, causing further exposure of the dentine.
Gum Disease (Gingivitis)
When gum tissue becomes inflamed and weakened from gingivitis (gum disease), you may feel tooth sensitivity because more of the underlying dentine root surface is exposed.
If you teeth grind when you sleep, or if you clench your teeth throughout the day, you may be wearing down enamel and exposing the underlying dentine layer of your tooth.
A receding gum can expose the dentine and create sensitive areas.
Learn How To Treat Sensitive Teeth:
If your teeth are sensitive, there are several simple but important steps you can take today to treat sensitive teeth.
- Practice good oral hygiene, including proper brushing and flossing, to help keep teeth and gums healthy.
- Use sensitive toothpaste like Sensodyne or Colgate Pro- Relief to relieve the pain of sensitive teeth.
- Don’t brush too hard or more frequently than your dentist recommends.
- Use a softer toothbrush, preferably one suitable for people with sensitive teeth.
- Take care while consuming acidic foods that can wear away tooth enamel, such as fruit juices, wine, vinegar salad dressings and soft drinks.
- Use fluoridated dental products, including toothpaste and mouthwash, to help strengthen enamel.
- Avoid grinding your teeth or clenching during the day. Ask your dentist about a mouth guard for nighttime use.
- See your dentist regularly for professional tooth cleaning, dental care recommendations and advice on treating your sensitive teeth.
A Sign Of Something More Serious?
In order to be sure your tooth sensitivity is not the result of a more serious condition, such as gingivitis (gum disease), it’s a good idea to make an appointment for a checkup and dentist recommendations for sensitive teeth.
While they can be quite annoying, sensitive teeth symptoms are rarely much more than a discomfort.
Often, making simple changes such as adopting better oral hygiene habits, using toothpaste for sensitive teeth, cutting down on acidic foods in your diet and brushing less vigorously can make all the difference.
Please call us to make an appointment so we can discuss your dental needs.