What Causes Teeth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity has the potential to diminish your quality of life, cause significant pain and prevent you from enjoying the foods and drinks you love.  The cause of tooth sensitivity often differs by patient.  If you bypass hot or cold beverages due to tooth sensitivity or feel pain when cleaning your teeth, it is time to figure out the true cause of the problem.

Dentin’s Role in Tooth Sensitivity

The inside of the tooth is mainly comprised of a material known as dentin.  This material has tiny tubes that have even smaller nerve endings.  The outermost layer of the uber-hard tooth enamel safeguards dentin in the tooths' crown.  Dentin is protected on down to the tooth root with the tooth's cementum.  Hypersensitivity occurs when dentin is exposed following enamel erosion.  Fluid moves within the dentin's tubes, spurring nerve irritation that otherwise would not have occurred if the hard enamel were in place to provide adequate protection.

Receding Gums can Cause Tooth Sensitivity

If your gums are receding, the little tube surfaces in dentin will be exposed.  You will experience sensitivity when your teeth are contacted, exposed to the cool air or any type of hot or cold food or beverage.

Even the Foods You eat can Cause Tooth Sensitivity

Consuming too many foods or beverages containing acid will put you at a heightened risk for tooth sensitivity.  Avoid soda pop, citrus juices and fruit if possible.  If you must consume these acidic foods and beverages, rinse your mouth out with water immediately after you eat and drink them.

Brushing too Hard Will Make Your Teeth That Much More Sensitive

Tooth enamel will eventually wear out if you brush with too much aggression or use a toothbrush with hard bristles.  Ease up on your grip when brushing.  Gently glide the bristles over your teeth.  Be patient, focus on the task at hand and your teeth won't feel so sensitive.

Tooth Decay Causes Tooth Sensitivity

General tooth decay, broken teeth and leaky fillings will expose the dentin in the tooth.  Take good care of your teeth with daily flossing, brushing and rinsing.  Visit with the dentist every six months to prevent the onset of tooth decay.  Your dentist will also assess the condition of your fillings to determine if they are nearing the point where they will leak and cause subsequent sensitivity.

Grinding the Teeth Will Also Lead to Tooth Sensitivity

If you grind your teeth at night, your teeth will eventually become highly sensitive.  Meet with your dentist to obtain a specialized mouth guard that protects your teeth from the many problems that stem from grinding.

Sensitivity can Occur Following Dental Treatment

If your teeth are sensitive following a dental treatment, do not be alarmed.  This is quite common.  Such sensitivity will prove to be temporary.  Teeth are especially sensitive following teeth bleaching, the placement of fillings and crown procedures.

Call (703) 745-3227 to schedule an appointment with Titan Dental Care in our Sterling dental office.

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