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Common Causes and Treatments for Sensitive Teeth

May 18, 2020
Do you keep cringing in pain when gulping cold soda? Perhaps sipping your favorite cup of hot coffee with whipped cream is no longer enjoyable due to increased tooth sensitivity.

Do you keep cringing in pain when gulping cold soda? Perhaps sipping your favorite cup of hot coffee with whipped cream is no longer enjoyable due to increased tooth sensitivity. Some people often complain of discomfort and pain after breathing in frosty air during the cold seasons. Tooth sensitivity is a common phenomenon and often occurs when the nerves located in your teeth become exposed. Typically, hot and cold temperatures, acidic or sweet foods will trigger pain and discomfort. So, what causes sensitivity in teeth? What types of treatment address the discomfort caused by sensitive teeth? 

Causes of Teeth Sensitivity 

Worn Out Enamel 

The outermost part of the tooth is known as the enamel. It is responsible for shielding the inner structures of a tooth, such as the pulp and dentin. Over time, the enamel wears out from being subjected to acidic food. Naturally, due to the grinding effect of teeth on adjacent teeth and other substances such as food, the enamel may begin to wear out. Weakened enamel means that protection levels get reduced, which explains the increased sensitivity in teeth, especially when taking hot or cold drinks. 

Decayed Teeth 

Tooth cavities come with extreme tooth sensitivity from an exposed dental pulp. When bacteria build-up and begin attacking the enamel, a part of your tooth becomes an entry point for nerve exposure. You may begin to feel pain even when you aren’t eating or drinking hot or cold foods and beverages. Decayed teeth need urgent dental attention to avoid more serious problems than tooth sensitivity. 

Gum Recession 

Gingivitis is the leading cause of gum recession. Gum recession is a condition that is characterized by receding gums, which exposes certain sensitive parts of the tooth. If left untreated, the gums continue receding, exposing the dentin and nerves that explain the sudden change in tooth sensitivity.

Broken, Chipped or Cracked Teeth

Trauma to your oral space can cause your teeth to break, crack, or chip, which often leaves an entry point on your tooth’s enamel. Cold and hot temperatures can sip into the inner parts of the tooth that harbor the nerves triggering, extreme sensitivity.

Brushing a Little Too Hard

While your family dentist in Scottsdale highly encourages dental hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing teeth daily, hard brushing won’t do you any good. Using too much force to brush your teeth contributes significantly to worn out enamel, which triggers tooth sensitivity.

Grinding Teeth

According to the experts, grinding teeth can be an involuntary action or not. Some people grind teeth unknowingly in their sleep, which often causes the enamel to wear out and expose the dentin and other sensitive parts of the tooth.

Dental Treatments

Dental procedures are part of everyday life. Your Scottsdale family dentist probably recommends bi-annual dental check-ups that involve general examination of the teeth, professional dental cleaning, and simple filling. These dental procedures may trigger tooth sensitivity that often goes with time. Other dental procedures that trigger tooth sensitivity include crown placement, braces adjustments, and root canal treatments.

The Solution to Sensitive Teeth

Use Desensitizing Toothpaste

Dental health professionals have developed desensitizing toothpaste available to patients suffering from sensitive teeth. This unique kind of toothpaste contains compounds that protect nerve endings from irritating substances. Potassium nitrate is thought to be the most active ingredient whose primary purpose is to block pain signals from moving from the nerves in teeth to the brain. Your dentist might recommend using the desensitizing toothpaste with a soft-bristle toothbrush for the best results.

Root Canal Treatments

In instances where your tooth sensitivity emanates from a severely decayed tooth that cannot be remedied through filling, your dentist might recommend a root canal treatment. Root canals involve removing all the contents of a damaged tooth, decontaminating it, filling and finally sealing the tooth. Removing the pulp from the tooth eradicates tooth sensitivity.

Applying Fluoride

Fluoride compounds are known to strengthen the enamel’s make-up. By strengthening your teeth, you could experience reduced pain and sensitivity in your teeth. This solution is recommended for people whose sensitivity problems aren’t as severe. Patients with gingivitis may also benefit from special fluoride toothpaste.

Gum Grafting

If you are found to have a severe gum recession that can’t recover on its own, your dentist might recommend gum grafting. Surgical gum grafts involve removing a section of the gum tissue from an unaffected area in your mouth and planting it on the target site. The solution shields your roots from getting exposed and prevents the condition from worsening, eventually reducing sensitivity.

Wearing Mouth Guards

If you’ve been suffering from tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, your dentist will make a model that epitomizes your teeth and then use it to create an ideal mouth guard for you. Mouth guards protect your teeth from damage and pressure that comes from constant grinding. This should address your tooth sensitivity issue.

Tooth Fillings

If you notice that you have a chipped, cracked, or broken tooth that causes pain and sensitivity, you might want to head to the nearest dental health care facility in Scottsdale. Your dentist should find the best solution for this case, which may be a tooth filling. Installing a new filling or replacing an old filling shields the tooth from interruptive elements that may harm your nerve endings. Extra protection using a dental crown could also come in handy.

Routine Dental Hygiene and Practices

Dentists cannot necessitate enough the need to keep up with good dental hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing. These habits keep bacteria at bay, preventing problems such as cavities, which trigger sensitivity. Moreover, routine check-ups ensure early detection of problems and quick solutions. During routine check-ups, your dentist could help you stick to the right track in avoiding things that trigger tooth sensitivity.

Have you been experiencing some abnormal pain and sensitivity in your teeth? Maybe it’s high time you checked in with your dentist to avoid escalating the problem. This piece covers a tidy number of causes and treatments of tooth sensitivity to help you gauge your condition and make the right decision.