What is Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is a feeling of pain or discomfort in your teeth when they are aggravated by triggers such as hot or cold foods, sweet or sour foods, cold air, or brushing and flossing. The pain is often sharp and sudden.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
Teeth can become sensitive when either your gums recede or the enamel on your teeth starts to wear away.
As a result of receding gums or enamel erosion, the dentin in your teeth becomes exposed. Dentin has channels that run from the outside of your teeth to their nerves. When the dentin is exposed, the channels allow heat, cold and other triggers to reach the tooth’s nerves, which causes pain.
When Are Teeth More Likely to Be Sensitive?
The following are more likely to make your teeth sensitive:
- Cracked teeth
- Teeth clenching or grinding (bruxism)
- Plaque Buildup
- Constantly using over-the-counter mouthwash
- Eating acidic foods
- Having cavities filled or a filling replaced, this often improves on its own but may require having the filling adjusted or replaced with a different material
- Using teeth whiteners that can remove enamel
What Should I Avoid if I Have Sensitive Teeth?
Avoiding the following may help reduce your chances of developing sensitive teeth:
- Consuming acidic foods and beverages
- Brushing too vigorously
- Using a hard-bristled toothbrush
When Should I Visit a Dentist For Teeth Sensitivity?
If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, you should make an appointment with your dentist. They can check for signs that your dentin has become exposed and if so, look for possible causes such as gum disease.
Your dentist can correct an underlying problem that’s causing your tooth sensitivity. Treatments can also be used to help reduce sensitivity.
What Treatments Can Help with Tooth Sensitivity?
A dentist can provide the following treatments for tooth sensitivity:
- Dental care for issues such as cavities and gum disease
- Fluoride varnish – applied to exposed areas to strengthen dentin and enamel
- Fluoride foam or gel – placed in a mouth tray to strengthen exposed areas
- Dental sealants – cover the exposed root surface
- Bonding agent – to seal the dentin surface
- Desensitizing toothpaste
- Surgical gum graft
How Can I Prevent Sensitive Teeth?
The following can help prevent sensitive teeth:
- Receiving regular dental care and practicing good oral care habits
- Seeing your dentist at the first sign of any problems, such as receding gums
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and not overbrushing
If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, make an appointment today with Cedar Mountain Dental in Newington, CT or call our office at 860-667-2600. At Cedar Mountain Dental, our team is committed to providing high-quality care for all your dental needs.