Tooth sensitivity is a common problem that affects millions of people. It involves experiencing pain or discomfort to your teeth from sweets, cold air, hot or cold drinks or ice cream. Some people with sensitive teeth even experience discomfort from brushing and flossing. The good news is that sensitive teeth can be treated.
WHAT CAUSES SENSITIVITY?
When the enamel that protects teeth gets thinner, the result could be sensitivity. Enamel is the hard, protective layer that helps your teeth deal with everything you put them through. When it’s gone, nerve endings that cause pain are exposed. If you have sensitive teeth, it’s possible some of your enamel has worn away. There are a few causes:
- Brushing too hard – You might be taking off more than just plaque! Use a soft bristled toothbrush and a light hand. Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing gum recession and sensitive tooth pain.
- Gum Recession – This exposes the underlying surface, leaving your tooth root exposed and therefore reduces the levels of protection the enamel and gums give to the tooth and its root.
- Grinding or Clenching Teeth – Over time, it can wear away your tooth enamel
- Dental Cavities
- A Cracked or Chipped Tooth
- A Tooth Abscess – Can lead to an infection in your jaw bone or/and possibly the loss of a tooth
- Post Dental Treatment Sensitivity – Common but temporary, especially following procedures such as crowns and fillings.
Once we have found the problem, there are a few things that can help ease your pain, including:
- Using a toothpaste without high levels of abrasives
- At home brush on fluoride gel or rinse
- Fluoride varnishes that can be painted on the teeth
While the cause of sensitive teeth is sometimes a mystery, together we can solve it. There’s no reason to suffer with painful tooth sensitivity and you should never have to avoid eating the foods you love!