Teeth sensitivity can be an uncomfortable experience, causing sharp and sudden pain when consuming sweet, cold, hot, or sour foods and drinks or even breathing cold air. This article explores the possible causes, care, and treatment for teeth sensitivity, including when to contact a doctor for professional advice.

Teeth sensitivity occurs typically when the underlying layer of teeth, dentin, becomes exposed. This can happen due to erosion or wear and tear and gum recession, exposing the roots. Teeth roots, not covered by hard enamel, contain thousands of tiny tubules leading to a tooth’s center. These channels allow stimuli to reach the nerve, causing pain.

Causes of Teeth Sensitivity

Some of the causes of tooth sensitivity include:

  • Brushing too hard: Brushing too hard for too long can wear down enamel and expose the dentin. It can also cause gum recession. To prevent this, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently in a circular motion.
  • Teeth grinding: Clenching or grinding your teeth makes your enamel wear down and exposes underlying dentin. To prevent this, talk to your dentist about getting a mouthguard to wear at night and try to reduce stress.
  • Gum recession: Some individuals are genetically prone to thin gum tissue, while others develop gum recession due to periodontal disease. With gum recession, the gum tissue pulls away from your teeth, exposing the roots. This can be prevented by maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly.
  • Gum disease: Inflamed gum tissue may cause teeth sensitivity because there’s a loss of supporting ligaments. This makes the root surface of your tooth exposed. To prevent gum disease, brush, and floss regularly, and visit your dentist in Dental Care South for regular check-ups and cleanings.
  • Cracked teeth: Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth might fill with bacteria caused by plaque and enter the pulp, causing inflammation. To prevent cracked teeth, avoid biting complex objects, wear a mouthguard if you clench or grind your teeth, and maintain good oral hygiene.
  • Teeth whitening products: Some of these products lead to teeth sensitivity. If you want to whiten your smile, talk to a dental professional about teeth whitening for sensitive teeth. Avoid over-the-counter whitening products and follow your dentist’s instructions carefully.
  • Acidic foods: Regularly consuming foods with a high acid content, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickles, and tea, can cause enamel erosion. To prevent this, limit your consumption of acidic drinks and foods, and rinse your mouth with water after consuming them.
  • Age: Teeth sensitivity is at its peak between the ages of 25-30. As one ages, the enamel on your teeth may wear down, making them more sensitive.
  • Plaque buildup: Plaque on the root surfaces can cause sensitivity. To prevent plaque buildup, brush, and floss daily, and visit your dentist for regular dental check-ups and cleanings.

Also, if you experience sensitivity after a dental procedure, ensure you talk to your dentist about ways to manage it.

Treatment for Sensitive Teeth

Some of the treatments include:

Desensitizing toothpaste: Using desensitizing toothpaste can help to block the tubules in the dentin, which reduces the sensitivity.

Regular dental visits to your dentist: Regular appointments with your dentist in Tuscaloosa, AL, and fluoride treatments can strengthen the enamel and reduce sensitivity.

Dental bonding: Teeth bonding involves applying a tooth-colored resin to the surface of your teeth to cover the exposed dentin and help reduce tooth sensitivity.

Gum grafting: In cases where gum disease has caused the gums to recede, gum grafting can be used to cover the exposed roots and reduce any sensitivity.

Root canal: In severe cases of tooth sensitivity, a root canal treatment may be necessary to remove the sensitive nerve in the tooth.

Remedies for Sensitive Teeth

Some of the remedies include:

Avoid acidic foods and drinks: Consuming acidic foods and beverages can erode the enamel and expose the dentin, causing sensitivity. Avoiding these foods and beverages helps in reducing tooth sensitivity.

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush: A soft-bristled toothbrush can help prevent enamel erosion and reduce sensitivity.

Practice good oral hygiene: Brushing twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash can help to prevent tooth decay and gum disease associated with teeth being sensitive to cold.

Use a mouthguard: If you grind or clench your teeth, a mouthguard helps to prevent enamel erosion reducing sensitivity.

Use a straw: Consuming acidic drinks, using a straw can help minimize contact with the teeth.

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