Ever taken a drink of cold water and experienced pain in your teeth? How about when biting down on something hard? A large portion of the population has experienced tooth sensitivity at one point or another. While it can be annoying, it isn’t always a cause for concern. Sensitive teeth can be experienced short or long-term and may be caused by various factors.
Causes of Sensitive Teeth
Cavities – Dental decay is one of the more concerning causes of sensitive teeth. Usually, when decay causes sensitivity, it is larger and has entered into the deeper layers of tooth structure. Cavities can cause sensitivity to temperature, both cold and hot, to biting and even brushing.
Cracks/Chips/Fractures – If a tooth is partially broken, it is likely to cause sensitivity. Sometimes even small chips can lead to sensitivity depending on the location.
Erosion – Consumption of acidic foods and beverages can lead to tooth erosion, minimizing the protective enamel covering your teeth. Other factors are acid reflux and conditions that cause frequent vomiting.
Worn Teeth – Conditions such as clenching and grinding can wear down the enamel on the biting surfaces of teeth, leading to sensitivity.
Recession – When the gum line around a tooth recedes away, it exposes the underlying root surface. The roots of your teeth are more prone to sensitivity than the crowns.
Combating Sensitive Teeth
It is essential to address the root cause when eliminating your tooth sensitivity. If there is a cavity or chip, the tooth/teeth will need to be fixed. If clenching or grinding is causing sensitivity, your dentist may recommend a nightguard. A great option is to use sensitivity toothpaste, which helps by blocking the microscopic tubules that travel to the nerve of each tooth. Be sure to use the toothpaste each time you brush, at least twice a day, to get the best results.
Your dentist can also apply a desensitizing agent to combat your routine dental cleaning sensitivity. Your dentist may recommend gum grafting or small surface fillings to cover your root surfaces if you have gum recession. This procedure will keep your gums and teeth healthy and prevent sensitivity.
If you have any questions about sensitive teeth, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.