Do you have tooth sensitivity? If so, you might avoid eating certain types of food or breathing through your mouth on a cold day. Or, you might stay away from drinking cold beverages. Some people have such sensitive teeth that they sidestep proper brushing and flossing – or they refuse to visit the dentist altogether!
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
If your teeth are sensitive or painful with no apparent cause, a dental appointment is in order. Teeth can be sensitive for a variety of reasons, and the solution to the problem is sometimes straightforward. The specific treatment for sensitive teeth depends on the underlying cause of the issue.
Tooth sensitivity is uncomfortable and can affect your quality of life. If you experience pain or discomfort when you brush, floss, eat, drink, or breathe through your mouth, address the problem immediately. A dentist evaluates teeth and gums and determines the source of sensitivity.
Examples of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity include the following:
Too Much Brushing. While it might seem ironic, it’s possible to brush your teeth too often and with too much enthusiasm. Vigorous brushing, and using a toothbrush with hard bristles, can wear down the enamel on your teeth and lead to sensitivity.
Teeth Grinding. If you grind your teeth at night, or even during the day, your teeth become susceptible to sensitivity. Grinding leads to loss of enamel, which leads to pain. A good defense against grinding is a night guard or mouth guard that prevents your teeth from clamping and rubbing together.
Receding Gum Line. If you have early or late-stage gum disease or your gums are receding, the roots of your teeth might be exposed. This can lead to sensitivity and pain. Specific treatments depend on the severity of your condition.
Chipped or Broken Tooth. A chipped or broken tooth that feels sensitive should be evaluated by a dentist as soon as possible. In many cases, chipped or broken teeth can be repaired and restored.
Dental Procedure. When a tooth is subject to a procedure, such as a filling, it takes time to recover and feel normal. Sometimes, side-effects of a dental treatment last only a day. Other times, sensitivity lasts a couple of weeks.
Teeth Whitening. Sometimes, people who undergo teeth whitening procedures develop sensitivity. In most cases, the discomfort eases after a short period without any treatment.
Treat Sensitivity with Toothpaste
One of the most common treatments for sensitivity is desensitizing toothpaste. This type of toothpaste is available over-the-counter in most drug stores, grocery stores, or convenience stores. If your sensitivity does not subside with the use of desensitizing toothpaste, there are other products and dental procedures to consider.
There is no reason to live your life with tooth sensitivity when there is a solution. If you are suffering, and unable to eat hot or cold food because of sensitivity, schedule an appointment for an evaluation. We will get to the root of the problem and give you guidance and advice on how to eliminate your discomfort.