Tooth Sensitivity: What Are the Causes and Treatment

Tooth Sensitivity: What Are the Causes and Treatment

Jan 01, 2022

Do you find that iced beverages make your teeth hurt? If so, then your teeth are sensitive to cold food or drink. Tooth sensitivity is a common problem that can be caused by several different things, ranging from decay to tooth erosion. It is important to visit a dentist in Edison, NJ, for a proper assessment to determine the cause.

What is Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity occurs when you feel stinging, discomfort, irritation, or pain in your teeth due to cold, heat, or sweet food and drinks.

Tooth sensitivity can be caused by decay or tooth erosion where the tooth’s enamel layer has worn away, exposing the dentin underneath.

What are the Causes of Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity can be the result of several factors, including:

    • – Rough brushing

Brushing with excessive vigor or utilizing a hard-bristled toothbrush might cause sensitivity in your teeth. Over time, the protective layers of your teeth can be worn down, exposing tiny hollow tubes or canals that lead to your dental nerves. When these tubes are exposed to extreme temperatures or acidic or spicy foods, they can become inflamed. Toothbrush bristles that are too hard or pointed can damage these tubes, leading to sensitivity.

    • – Tooth decay

Tooth decay forms when bacteria in plaque produce acid that eats away at the enamel surface of the teeth. Tooth decay can spread into dentin and pulp, causing an infection and resulting in sensitivity.

    • – Acidic foods

Acidic foods can expose your nerves to acidity, which over time will lead to tooth pain. However, one way to avoid this is by avoiding acidic foods such as tomato sauce, lemon, grapefruit, kiwi, and pickles.

    • – Tooth enamel eroding

Tooth enamel erosion does not cause pain until the tooth has lost about half of its thickness. It is most common in the upper front teeth. Through erosion, your teeth become too thin to protect the sensitive nerve endings from hot and cold substances.

Tooth erosion is usually caused by acids coming into contact with a tooth regularly.

    • – Teeth grinding

Even though your teeth’s enamel is tough, grinding it can wear down the enamel. You expose the dentin, which contains the hollow tubes that lead to your nerves, by doing so. Using a mouthguard can stop you from grinding your teeth, but the first step to fixing this issue is to talk with your dentist.

    • – Teeth over-whitening

Teeth whitening that is too strong can damage your gums and nerves. Tooth sensitivity can result from teeth bleaching, especially if you already have gum disease. Talk with your dentist to find out if your teeth are safe for brightening.

– Overly abrasive toothpaste

Toothpaste, especially whitening toothpaste, contains abrasives called microbeads, which scrub away stains on your teeth. Tooth sensitivity can result from this type of scrubbing.

    • – Dental procedures

When you have a dental procedure, it is expected to experience some sensitivity after. If your symptoms do not disappear after a short time, you should visit a dental clinic immediately for assessment.

    • – Decay around your fillings and crowns

Fillings in your teeth may become discolored and decayed over time. They can fracture and leak around the margins as you grow older. Bacteria can accumulate in these tiny cracks, causing acid buildup and enamel deterioration.

    • – Bacteria buildup due to periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is one of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity. It occurs when plaque accumulates around your gums and teeth, loosening them from their sockets. This can result in exposed roots, which cause you pain during chewing or brushing.

What is the Treatment for Tooth Sensitivity?

The treatment for tooth sensitivity will depend on the cause of the problem.

  • Avoid clenching and grinding your teeth by getting custom-made mouthguards.
  • Do not brush too hard.
  • Avoid consuming acidic and sugary foods.
  • Get treatment for any underlying cause like decay or gum disease.
  • Tooth sensitivity can also be treated by placing a dental sealant on the tooth to create an artificial layer of enamel protection.
  • Another way for treating tooth sensitivity is through the use of fluoride varnish when applied topically.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit KK Dental for more information on oral care and how to prevent tooth sensitivity.

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