Sensitive Teeth: Causes and Treatment By summer on September 26, 2013

Sensitive teeth are a discomfort within one or more than one tooth that is often triggered through sweet, cold, hot or sour drinks and foods. Breathing cold air is another trigger for those with sensitive teeth. Pains can be all of a sudden, sharp and shooting deep within your nerve endings of the teeth.

Causes of Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth are the direct result of the underneath layer of your teeth becoming exposed from gum tissue that is receding. Roots, which aren't covered from the hard enamel of your teeth, contain a number of tiny tubules that all lead into the nerve center of the tooth. These tubules allow your stimuli to make its way into your tooths nerve, which is what causes you to feel the pain. Many factors attribute to sensitive teeth such as:

  • Brushing your teeth too hard Over the course of time, brushing your teeth too hard or using one of the toothbrushes with hard bristles will end up wearing down the enamel on your teeth. This leads to the dentin being exposed. It also causes your gums to recede.

  • Tooth decay around your gum line.

  • Receding gums As your gums move from your teeth due to periodontal disease, your roots end up becoming exposed.

  • Gingivitis Sore and inflamed gums will end up causing sensitivity from your losing the surrounding ligaments, which end up exposing the surfaces of your roots that lead directly into your nerve endings.

  • Cracked teeth Broken and chipped teeth can end up filling with bacteria that is created from plaque, which enters into the pulp and causes it to become inflamed.

  • Grinding your teeth Clenching or grinding your teeth can cause the enamel to wear down and expose the dentin that lies underneath.

  • Whitening products These products have been known to be major contributors to teeth that are sensitive.

  • Age Those who are between age 25 and 30 tend to have a higher level of sensitivity.

  • Buildup of plaque Plaque on the surfaces of your roots will end up causing your teeth to be sensitive.

  • Using mouthwash Using some mouthwash for an extended period of time can cause sensitivity. Depending on what type of mouthwash you use, it can contain acids that lead to severe sensitivity if your dentin is exposed. Acids will work to damage the layer of dentin that is on your tooth. For those who have sensitivity to dentin, make sure to ask about a neutral solution that contains fluoride.

  • Foods high in acid Consuming foods that have a high amount of acid will cause your enamel to erode. Tomatoes, tea, citrus fruits and pickles are all high in acid.

  • Recent dental work After your teeth have been cleaned, crowns put into place, root planning or restoration, you can expect to experience a degree of sensitivity with your teeth. Since this is only temporary, you can expect it to go away within four to six weeks.

Reduce the Sensitivity in Your Mouth

Preventing sensitivity is as simple as following the following procedures:

  • Maintaining proper oral hygiene Make sure you are following a good routine of flossing and brushing to ensure proper cleaning of your entire mouth.

  • Use a toothbrush that has soft bristles When you use this type of toothbrush, it will help to minimize any abrasions to the surface of your teeth. It will also help to minimize the irritation on your gums. Make sure you are brushing carefully and gently near your gum line to help avoid removing the tissue.

  • Use toothpaste that is desensitizing Countless brands of toothpaste are perfect for those who have sensitive teeth. If you use these brands of toothpaste, it will help decrease the sensitivity you are experiencing. It might be necessary to try multiple brands of toothpaste to determine which one is going to work the best for you. Try spreading a thin layer of toothpaste around the roots that are exposed with your finger before turning in for the night. Avoid using tartar control toothpaste. Fluoridated toothpaste is ideal.

  • Pay attention to what it is that you eat If you consume foods that are highly acidic, it will slowly dissolve the enamel on your teeth and cause the dentin to become exposed. It will end up aggravating your sensitivity and cause the pain to kick in.

  • Use dental products that are fluoridated Using a mouth rinse on a daily basis that is fluoridated will help to minimize your sensitivity levels. Make sure to ask about products that you can use at home.

  • Avoid grinding your teeth If you clench or grind your teeth, you will want to use a mouth guard throughout the night.

  • Make regular visits to your dentist Professional tooth cleaning, proper oral hygiene and fluoride treatment semi-annually will help to improve upon the sensitivity of your teeth.

Reducing the Sensitivity of Your Teeth

If you are still dealing with pain and discomfort, you will want to speak with the dentist. A variety of different dental procedures can help to reduce the amount of sensitivity you are experiencing, such as:

  • White fillings to help cover any root surfaces that are exposed

  • A fluoride varnish applied to any root surfaces that are exposed

  • Dentin sealers that are applied to any root surfaces that are exposed


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