Experiencing tooth sensitivity can be painful and life-altering. While there are various types and levels, sensitivity tends to be most noticeable when the teeth are exposed to something hot or cold, or while enjoying something sweet or sour. To effectively treat tooth sensitivity, you must first understand the leading causes behind the painful condition.
Read on for more information on the underlying causes, triggers, and helpful suggestions for finding relief from sensitive teeth.
Brushing With The Wrong Toothpaste
Many dentists recommend patients experiencing sensitivity to brush with a desensitizing toothpaste. This toothpaste contains specially-designed compounds that help to shield nerve endings from irritants. The most active ingredient is potassium nitrate, a compound that blocks pain signals traveling from a nerve in your tooth to your brain. After a few uses, your tooth sensitivity should begin to diminish.
Aggressive or Improper Brushing
Using too much force when brushing your teeth or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can create sensitivity over time. Once your teeth’ protective layers are worn down, microscopic hollow tubes that lead to your dental nerves are exposed. A simple solution is to switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush and use a more gentle approach when brushing.
Whitening Your Teeth
Both at-home whitening kits and in-office treatments can lead to tooth sensitivity. If you’re suffering from sensitivity after using whitening treatments, let your dentist know at your next appointment. It is possible to achieve a whiter smile without using harsh bleaching compounds, and many at-home whitening brands have specially designed kits for those sensitive to whitening products.
Grinding Your Teeth
While tooth enamel is the strongest substance in your body, grinding your teeth can significantly wear down your enamel. Once your enamel has been diminished, the dentin layer of your tooth is exposed. The hollow tubes that lead to your nerves create extreme tooth sensitivity and discomfort. If you are suffering from grinding your teeth, a custom nightguard made for your bite could help.
The purpose of flossing and brushing is to remove plaque that forms after you eat. An excessive buildup of plaque can cause tooth enamel to wear away. Your teeth can become more sensitive as they lose the protection provided by tooth enamel. Practicing excellent daily dental care and visiting your dentist for routine cleanings every six months will keep plaque at bay.
Brushing and flossing remove plaque that forms on your teeth after you eat. An excessive buildup of plaque can cause tooth enamel to wear away. Your teeth become more sensitive as they lose their protection provided by the enamel. By practice good daily dental care and visiting your dentist for cleanings every six months, you can help to prevent gum recession from taking hold of your smile.
If your nerves’ pathways are exposed from lost tooth enamel, acidic foods such as tomato sauce, lemon, grapefruit, kiwi, and pickles can cause pain and discomfort. If you’re experiencing sensitivity, avoiding these foods can help to alleviate any tooth discomfort.
Finding a Solution To Sensitivity
If you are suffering from extreme tooth sensitivity, consider an in-office dental treatment. Gel fluoride treatments, crowns, inlays, or dental bonding can help cover sensitive areas on your teeth. You can also have a gum graft for severe cases if the pain can’t be managed with simple remedies.
If you’ve started to notice any signs or symptoms of tooth sensitivity, we encourage you to contact Hinsdale Dentistry. Our expert team is committed to providing high-quality dental care while making your smile look and feel best.