Do normal daily activities like eating or brushing your teeth cause you pain? If so, you could be experiencing tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity is extremely common, and it can be caused by a multitude of factors. Although your tooth sensitivity could be a minor problem now, it’s important to visit your dentist to avoid any further damage down the road, as many tooth sensitivity cases may involve damage to the tooth enamel.
Tooth sensitivity may be caused by damaged enamel, gum disease, oral hygiene problems, teeth whitening treatments with abrasive chemicals, cavities, and even routine dental treatments. Because tooth sensitivity is different for every patient, there may be a unique solution for your sensitive teeth. However, there are a few common causes dentists have been able to identify and help find solutions to.
Enamel protects what is called dentin, the tissue located inside your teeth. If your tooth is worn down, it can become extremely sensitive. Overbrushing, acidic food and drink, and teeth grinding are three common causes of damaged tooth enamel.
Gum disease is another major factor in the development of tooth sensitivity. Because your gums serve to protect the roots of your teeth, gum disease can easily cause your teeth to become more sensitive, due to the exposure of nerves. As aging occurs, gums also tend to recede. Gum recession can also expose the roots of your teeth, resulting in extreme pain or sensitivity to cold or warmth.
It’s no surprise that good oral hygiene is vital to your overall health. However, did you know bad oral hygiene can also cause tooth sensitivity? Failing to properly floss and brush your teeth every day can lead to gum inflammation, cavities, and more. The buildup of plaque and tartar will cause sore gums and could spread infection to other areas around your mouth.
Although whitening your teeth can improve the overall appearance of your smile, the side effects of some teeth whitening products are serious damage to your teeth and gums. Because teeth whitening solutions found at your local pharmacy or drugstore could possibly include harmful chemicals, it’s important to know exactly what you’re applying to your teeth. A safer route to teeth whitening is visiting your dentist who offers teeth whitening services. This will allow you to ask questions and get advice, all while receiving professional work that won’t cause damage or sensitivity.
Teeth Whitening Services at Bateman Dentistry →
Routine dental treatments can cause your teeth to become more sensitive. With treatments such as regular cleanings, crown fillings, and more, you may experience slight discomfort and sensitivity for a few hours following your appointment. This is completely normal and typically resolves within 4 to 6 hours. If your sensitivity continues, consider visiting your dentist to find a solution.
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, you could be experiencing early symptoms of tooth decay, also known as a cavity. Tooth decay may also affect the nerves in the center of a tooth, making your teeth sensitive. Regular dental checkups every 6 months can help prevent and/or identify early stages of cavity formation.
Tips to a Cavity-Free Mouth →
Oftentimes, tooth sensitivity can be easily treated from the comfort of your own home. Although causes such as cavities and gum disease should be taken care of by a dentist immediately, there are a few solutions to help ease your discomfort.
There are a variety of toothpastes that are formulated to help sensitive teeth. Although toothpastes for sensitive teeth all work to fight tooth sensitivity, they tend to work in different ways. For some, the formula works to numb the nerves inside of your teeth. For others, fluoride works to protect your gum line alongside the interior tooth nerve.
A salt water rinse is an easy way to relieve mild discomfort or pain caused by tooth sensitivity. Rinsing your teeth with warm salt water a few times a day can help reduce any inflammation as well.
Overbrushing and worn-down enamel could be the result of the type of toothbrush you are using. If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, consider purchasing a new toothbrush with softer bristles. Rough bristles can easily wear down your teeth, while softer ones help to protect your outer layer.
Alongside sensitive toothpaste, many brands also offer a special mouthwash and floss designed to help reduce tooth sensitivity. Because bad oral hygiene can lead to sensitive teeth, these products can help solve a variety of issues, including sensitive teeth, cavity formation, and more.
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity for any extended amount of time, we recommend visiting your dentist as soon as possible. Although sensitive teeth are not a dental emergency, the cause behind the sensitivity could be. Therefore, it’s best not to ignore this symptom. Instead, make an appointment with your dentist to help prevent further damage to your oral health.
Our team at Bateman Dentistry works to provide our patients with the best care, and finding solutions to your tooth sensitivity is one way we can do that. Because every patient’s situation is unique, we will be able to provide you with personal advice, recommendations, and treatments to help solve your tooth sensitivity issues.
To visit our office and find a solution to your sensitive teeth, set up an appointment today.
This content was reviewed by Dr. Jake Bateman of Bateman Dentistry. Dr. Jake Bateman is a Kingsport native who is passionate about serving his patients. Throughout college and his work experience, Dr. Bateman has received many awards and honors for his outstanding work and performance in the industry, including Academy of General Dentistry Senior Student Award, UT Advanced Prosthodontic Program, and more. Learn more about Dr. Bateman’s awards, experience, and hobbies here.