Do you find yourself in pain from hot and/or cold beverages? Does flossing make your teeth hurt? You may be suffering from tooth sensitivity, which is a very common issue, with about half the population suffering from it at some point. Your teeth are made of a material called dentin, which contains tiny nerve endings. The hard outer layer of your teeth is made of enamel, which protects the dentin and nerve endings from experiencing pain.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
- Brushing your teeth too hard. If you use too hard of a toothbrush or apply too much pressure while brushing you can damage the protective enamel, causing tooth sensitivity.
- Eating too many acidic foods. If the protective layer of your teeth becomes worn, acidic food such as tomato products and lemon can cause nerve pain.
- Grinding your teeth. If you frequently find yourself grinding your teeth, or worry you may grind them while sleeping, you can discuss a mouth guard with your dentist. Chronic grinding wears down enamel exposing nerve endings and causing pain.
- Using teeth whiteners or whitening toothpaste. Teeth whitening chemicals have been known to cause teeth sensitivity, various toothpaste brands will add the chemicals to their product. If you experience sensitivity after using whitening products, opt for products without the chemicals.
- Over-using mouthwash. Mouthwash often contains alcohol and other chemicals which can lead to increased tooth sensitivity. Opt for a mouthwash free of alcohol or just stick to routine brushing and flossing regimen.
- Gum disease. Gum disease can lead to receding gums, exposing the root of your tooth. Treating the underlying cause can cause significant improvement.
- Excessive plaque buildup in the mouth. When you brush and floss your teeth, you remove plaque buildup. Neglecting to perform routine dental care creates more plaque buildup, less enamel, and more sensitivity.
- Cracked or chipped teeth. When teeth become damaged the dentin and nerve endings become exposed, hot, cold and various other things can cause extreme tooth sensitivity.
- Recession of gums. When your gums recede they expose the tooth root and nerve endings, leading to increased tooth sensitivity.
Tooth Sensitivity Dental Care
If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, you’ll be happy to know there are treatments available. Depending on why you are experiencing pain due to teeth sensitivity, we can come up with a plan to ease the discomfort. Here are a few options available for tooth sensitivity treatment:
- Desensitizing Toothpaste – Desensitizing toothpaste contains chemicals which can block pain in teeth.
- Fluoride – Fluoride can be applied directly to the areas of sensitivity to help strengthen enamel and protect against nerve pain.
- Sealing Root Surfaces – If your pain is due to exposed roots, sealing the portion that is exposed can help prevent tooth sensitivity.
- Mouthguard – If the teeth sensitivity you experience is due to grinding, we may recommend a mouth guard to use while sleeping. We also recommend avoiding teeth grinding during the day.
Tooth sensitivity doesn’t have to be a daily burden, with different diagnostic tools and treatments, we can create a custom dental care treatment just for you. Stop dealing with the pain today and give us a visit!