Top 9 Causes Of Sensitive Teeth

Top 9 Causes Of Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth can be a painful and frustrating experience for anyone. It can make it difficult to eat, drink, or even smile without being in pain. But what causes sensitive teeth?

The most common cause of sensitive teeth is worn enamel – the protective layer on your teeth – due to brushing too hard, using abrasive toothpaste, or having a misaligned bite. This can cause nerve endings inside the tooth to become exposed and produce sharp sensations when you eat something hot or cold. In addition, gum recession from periodontal disease can also lead to sensitivity as it exposes the root surface, which has fewer layers of protection than enamel.

If eating ice cream makes you say, “ouch!” you know how painful having sensitive teeth can be.  Rather than skipping the ice cream, you may want to know some of the causes of sharp teeth and how to treat them.  Many reasons can be cured by simply changing to a sensitive toothpaste, such as Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief, but others may require treatment by your dentist.  The most common causes of sharp teeth are as follows.

You Overeat Acidic Food

Acidic foods can strip away a layer of your enamel, which may expose the sensitive part of your teeth.  Avoid the amount of time you are exposed to acidic foods.  For example, avoid sipping on fruit juices throughout the day.  Instead, limit fruit juices to mealtimes and drink water throughout the day.

You Brush Too Hard

If you tend to scrub your teeth from side to side rather than gently brushing them, this could be causing your tooth sensitivity.  Using a hard toothbrush and applying too much pressure can wear away your enamel, exposing your dentine and leading to sensitivity.  Switch to a soft toothbrush and brush in a gentle circular motion to lessen the damage and sensitivity.

Your Gums Have Receded

Gum recession can be caused by brushing your teeth too hard, or it can happen naturally as you get older, called getting long in the tooth.  As the gums shrink back, the root surfaces of your teeth become exposed, and as they are not covered by enamel, they can become sensitive.  The roots of your teeth are softer than enamel and can be worn down with your toothbrush.  If this happens, you may require fillings that will cover the bases and help lessen the sensitivity.

You Have Too Much Plaque On Your Teeth

Constantly having plaque on your teeth can irritate your gums, inflame them and cause them to bleed, which is called gingivitis.  This can also cause your teeth to become sensitive.  Brushing and flossing your teeth daily is the only way to remove plaque.  This may be painful at first, but brushing will hurt less, and your teeth will become less sensitive.

You Grind Your Teeth

Grinding your teeth over a long period can lead to loss of enamel and tooth sensitivity.  Most people grind in their sleep, so you may need to ask your dentist to make you an occlusal guard.  An occlusal guard is similar to a mouthguard and is worn at night to prevent grinding.

You Whiten Your Teeth

With all the chemicals needed to whiten your teeth, it’s not surprising that you may experience some tooth sensitivity afterward.  This can happen with whitening done by your dentist, at home, or using a whitening toothpaste.  Some people may experience sensitivity for only a short period after whitening, but for others, it may be ongoing.  You may need to switch to sensitive toothpaste until the sensitivity subsides.

You Have A Cracked Tooth

The discomfort from a cracked tooth is usually more severe than general tooth sensitivity.  You will usually feel the most pain when chewing or biting, and a cracked tooth will require treatment by your dentist.

You Have Fillings That Need Replacing

Fillings don’t last forever and sometimes need replacing.  The bond used to hold a filling may have become weak over time, causing decay around the edge of the filling.  The filler may also be cracked, allowing bacteria to get in and cause sensitivity.  You will need to visit your dentist to have your mouth examined and, if required, contact the filling replaced.

You’ve Recently Had A Trip To The Dentist

Sensitivity following a root canal, extraction, filling, or crown is not uncommon, and it can take time for your teeth to calm down and the sensitivity to cease.  If the discomfort continues or gets worse, you will need to go back to your dentist.

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