Many people experience tooth sensitivity; this can be caused by something as common as drinking a hot or cold beverage. The pain caused by tooth sensitivity can be sudden and sharp and reach the nerve ending in the tooth. Some treatments can reduce sensitivity, including desensitizing toothpaste, dental bonding, and fluoride. Below we go in-depth into different tooth sensitivity causes and treatments. 

What Is Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitivity in your teeth can occur when the underlying layer of the tooth, the dentin, is exposed. This can happen due to gum recession, when the gum tissue pulls away from your teeth and the roots become more exposed, or erosion, which is the wear and tear of your teeth. Other issues, including gum disease, a cracked tooth, or cavities, can also cause tooth sensitivity. 

The roots of your teeth are covered in hard enamel; tubules lead to the center of the tooth and allow stimuli to flow to the nerve resulting in pain. So when you drink or eat something hot or cold, the tubules allow this temperature to reach the center of the tooth and flow through the nerves. 

Tooth Sensitivity Causes And Treatments

Tooth Sensitivity Causes

Sensitive teeth can be caused by multiple factors, including: 

  • Gum recession: Gum recession occurs when the tissue pulls away from the tooth, exposing the roots. This condition can be genetic or developed as a result of periodontal disease. 
  • Cracked teeth: Bacteria and plaque can enter the center of a tooth that is broken or chipped; this can cause inflammation and sensitivity. 
  • Teeth grinding: Underlying dentin can be exposed when you wear down the enamel by clenching or grinding your teeth. 
  • Age: Between the ages 25 and 30, teeth sensitivity is the highest
  • Teeth whitening products: to avoid tooth sensitivity from products, contact your dentist to find a better method for brightening your smile. 
  • Gum disease: the root of the nerve surface can be exposed due to gum disease; this is due to inflamed or sore gum tissue that has lost the supporting ligaments, causing sensitivity. 
  • Brushing your teeth too hard: you can wear down your tooth’s enamel by brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush. This can also cause gum recession. 
  • Plaque buildup: plaque can sit on the root’s surface and cause sensitivity. 
  • Acidic foods: foods such as citrus fruits, pickles, tea, tomatoes, etc., can cause sensitive teeth due to enamel erosion. 
  • Mouthwash: mouthwash can contain acids that can damage the dentin layer and worsen the sensitivity of your teeth. 
  • Recent procedures: Dental procedures can cause teeth sensitivity, including teeth cleaning, fillings, or dental restoration placement. This sensitivity is usually temporary and will disappear within four to six weeks. 

Tooth Sensitivity Treatments: 

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, be sure to contact your dentist. The dentist can tell you if you are developing a severe condition. To reduce the sensitivity of your teeth due to normal wear and tear, you can: 

  • Maintain good oral hygiene: brush and floss your teeth regularly using proper techniques. 
  • Use desensitizing toothpaste: Using this toothpaste regularly can decrease your sensitivity. There are multiple brands, so experiment and find the one that works best. 
  • Use a soft toothbrush: if the bristles are stiff on your toothbrush, you can cause wear down of the tooth’s enamel; a soft toothbrush will be less irritable. 
  • Avoid teeth grinding: use a mouth guard to avoid grinding or clenching your teeth. 
  • Use fluoridated dental products: mouth rinse with fluoride can decrease your sensitivity. 
  • Make regular dental appointments: Professional cleaning and fluoride treatments can prevent tooth sensitivity. 

Tooth sensitivity is very common, and many ways exist to prevent it. Suppose you still experience sensitivity after the treatments above; you can talk to your dentist about fluoride varnishes, dental bonding, or dentin sealers. Regular appointments and checkups are essential to avoid more significant issues that could need treatment. Dentistry Thirty Two provides regular checkups and teeth cleaning services; visit our website to learn more.