Teeth sensitivity can develop due to many factors; including cavities, gum disease or a cracked tooth.
Sensitivity usually occurs when the underlying layer of your teeth (the dentine) becomes exposed. This can happen due to wear and tear and gum recession.
Some of the common causes of sensitivity include –
- Plaque buildup: The presence of plaque on the root surfaces can cause sensitivity.
- Acidic foods: Regular consumption of foods with a high acid content, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickles and tea, can cause enamel erosion.
- Brushing too hard: Over time, brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can wear down enamel and cause the dentine to be exposed.
- Gum recession: Some people are genetically prone to thin gum tissue. Other people develop gum recession as a result of periodontal disease. With gum recession, your gum tissue pulls away from your teeth, exposing the roots.
- Gum disease: Inflamed and sore gum tissue may cause sensitivity because of the loss of supporting ligaments, which exposes the root surface that leads directly to the nerve of the tooth.
- Cracked teeth: Chipped or broken teeth may fill with bacteria from plaque and enter the pulp, causing inflammation.
- Teeth grinding: Grinding or clenching your teeth may wear down the enamel and expose underlying dentine.
- Teeth whitening products: These products are major contributors to teeth sensitivity. If you want to brighten your smile, talk to your Saving Smiles dentist about teeth whitening for sensitive teeth.
Sensitive Teeth Treatment
Treatment depends on the cause. If you develop lingering teeth sensitivity or discomfort, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist. They’ll need to rule out any serious conditions so they can recommend appropriate treatment.
Other treatments include;
- Use desensitising toothpaste: There are several brands of toothpaste for sensitive teeth. With regular use, you should notice a decrease in sensitivity. You may need to try several different brands to find the product that works best for you.
- Another tip: Spread a thin layer of the toothpaste on the exposed tooth roots with your finger before you go to bed.
- Be sure to use fluoridated toothpaste.
- Maintain good oral hygiene: Continue to follow proper brushing and flossing techniques to thoroughly clean all parts of your teeth and mouth.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush: This will result in less toothbrush abrasion to the tooth surface and less irritation to your gums.
- Watch what you eat: Frequent consumption of highly acid foods can gradually dissolve tooth enamel and lead to dentine exposure. They may also aggravate the sensitivity and start the pain reaction.
- Use fluoridated dental products: Daily use of a fluoridated mouth rinse can decrease sensitivity. Ask your dentist about available products for home use.
- Avoid teeth grinding: If you grind or clench your teeth, use a mouth guard at night.
- See your dentist regularly: Get routine dental exams, cleanings and fluoride treatments.
If you still have discomfort, talk to your dentist. There are some dental procedures that may help reduce sensitivity, including the use of:
- Composite bonding to cover exposed root surfaces.
- Fluoride varnishes applied to the exposed root surface.