It’s possible and common that ice cold or hot beverages, sweets or even cold wind against your teeth can cause dental discomfort. However, if you feel tooth pain along with other symptoms such as pain while chewing, loose teeth or swollen gums, you may be experiencing tooth sensitivity.
What is tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is a common name for dentin hypersensitivity or root sensitivity. When the enamel that protects our teeth becomes damaged or wears away, it exposes dentin which is less dense than the enamel. The dentin contains canals called dentin tubules. When the dentin is exposed, the canals allow fluid to flow in them. Thus, the teeth are affected by cold and heat causing the nerves to become significantly sensitive.
What causes tooth sensitivity?
There are different causes of tooth sensitivity, and some of them are:
- You eat too many acidic foods: kiwi, grapefruit, lemon, tomato sauce or pickles.
- You brush your teeth too aggressively: Brushing your teeth with too much force can cause teeth’s protective layers to wear down thus exposing dentin whose canals lead to your dental nerves.
- You use tooth-whitening toothpaste: Many tooth-whitening types of toothpaste contain tooth-whitening agents and you may simply be one of those people who are too sensitive to those chemicals.
- You have excessive plaque: If you have excessive plaque buildup, your enamel can wear away. This can happen if you don’t brush and floss regularly.
- You’ve had a dental procedure: If you’ve recently had a dental procedure such as the placement of a crown, an extraction or root canal, you may experience some sensitivity. If this continues for a longer period of time it can be a sign of infection.
How to reduce tooth sensitivity?
If you’ve ever experienced tooth sensitivity then you’ve probably tried to identify ways to immediately stop the pain.
Consider trying the following steps if you’re seeking to avoid tooth sensitivity pain:
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks: Your teeth are under constant attack if you consume too many acidic foods and drinks. Be cautious and avoid these types of foods and drinks.
- Change the way you brush: Consider using a soft-bristled toothbrush and be gentle when you brush.
- Desensitizing toothpaste: This special type of toothpaste can help individuals whose teeth are sensitive to heat or cold. The toothpaste contains ingredients such as strontium chloride and potassium nitrate that help block the transmission of pain signals from the surface of your tooth to the nerve inside.
- Practice good daily hygiene: Brush your teeth regularly, at least two times a day for two minutes. Schedule an appointment with your dentist to clean your teeth every six months.
- Fluoride Gel: Your dentist may apply fluoride gel to your tooth sensitivity in order to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce pain.
- Visit your dentist: If the pain and discomfort continue for a longer period of time, it may be that you have severe tooth sensitivity. Consult with your dentist as your dentist can offer tooth sensitivity treatment options to help you ease the pain.
For example, if you’ve had gum line disease and/or receding gums, then you might need a treatment involving tissue grafts. Or if your tooth is cracked, you might need a cap or an extraction.
It’s extremely important to maintain your dental care. Tooth sensitivity, tooth decay, gum recession, gum disease, and grinding your teeth are common dental issues that can worsen over time without treatment. Located in the Tampa, Florida within the United States, North Pointe Dental Associates would like to help you keep healthy teeth.
Feel free to call us today if you have questions about your sensitive teeth or other persisting issues at (813) 961-1727.