Sensitive Teeth? Learn the Causes and Treatments
Do you have sensitive teeth? If so, you are not alone. This dental condition, also known as dentin hypersensitivity, is a very common problem, affecting 1 in 8 Americans. Tooth sensitivity happens as a result of enamel loss exposing the inner layer of the tooth (dentin).
Sensitive teeth also occur because of receding gums, which can leave roots and nerves exposed and as a result of irritation of the nerves. This leads to pain or discomfort when drinking hot or cold beverages, or when applying pressure to the exposed tooth.
What are some causes of sensitive teeth?
Tooth sensitivity can develop for a variety of reasons, including:
- Brushing too hard – known as ‘toothbrush abrasion’, this can wear down enamel, principally where the gums meet the teeth.
- Eating acidic and sugary foods – foods such as soda, ice cream, coffee, hard candy, sticky candy, citrus fruit and tomatoes can cause a loss of tooth enamel.
- Grinding or clenching your teeth – Bruxism, or excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching, which happens most often during the night, can wear down enamel as a result of the grinding and clenching action.
- Tooth-whitening and bleaching – whitening and bleaching products can open pores in teeth and cause temperature sensitivity.
- Gum disease – gum disease can cause the gums to recede, exposing the roots and potentially leading to a variety of dental issues.
- Excessive plaque and tartar – plaque and tartar can cause receding gums, gum disease, as well as create holes in teeth enamel.
- Cracked teeth and fillings – cracked teeth and fillings can go down to the root, leaving dentin exposed and nerves affected.
- Recent dental procedure – immediately following a dental procedure, and for a couple of days after, teeth may be more temperature sensitive than usual.
Taking care of your enamel
If you have sensitive teeth, it is possible to improve your sensitivity. While tooth sensitivity is uncomfortable, making efforts to take care of your tooth enamel will help to bring you some relief. The most important step to improving any dental condition is through the practice of good oral hygiene. Regular brushing, flossing and dental checkups are fundamental to maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
Using a soft- or medium-bristled toothbrush and not brushing too hard helps prevent toothbrush abrasion. Avoiding acidic and overly sweet foods, and eating more fresh vegetables are also helpful in preventing tooth sensitivity.
Dr. Dondo provides dental excellence for sensitive teeth
If you have sensitive teeth that have continued for more than a few days, contact Dr. Dondo for an appointment. Dr. Dondo will examine your teeth to determine the cause of your sensitivity.
Once he has determined the cause, there are several treatment options available. Whatever the cause for the sensitivity, Dr. Dondo can provide your sensitive teeth with dental excellence, and you will be back to feeling like yourself in no time.
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