What are the causes of sensitive teeth?
- Eroded enamel
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Cracked tooth
If you have sensitive teeth, you might experience discomfort when consuming hot and cold foods. This also makes it harder for you to brush or floss your teeth normally. It might seem simple, but having sensitive teeth can affect your quality of life. Instead of eating the foods that you love, you have to restrict yourself because of the tingling and painful sensation. If you want to know the causes of sensitive teeth, keep on reading to learn more!
Teeth sensitivity often occurs when a soft inner layer of your teeth called the dentin gets exposed. This is covered by a harder outer layer, which is called the enamel. But acidic food, brushing too hard, and tooth grinding can all wear down the enamel. Once the dentin gets exposed, heat, cold, or acidic substances can reach the nerves within your teeth — which causes pain or sensitivity.
Fortunately, your saliva neutralizes the acid in your mouth. But too many acids from food and drinks can cause your enamel to degrade over time. For this reason, it’s beneficial to limit your intake of sugary foods, starchy foods, and acidic foods.
When brushing, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and do it gently. Lastly, avoid grinding your teeth as much as possible. If you can’t help it, consider using a nighttime mouth guard and performing massages on your jaw muscles.
If you neglect your oral health, you might develop a cavity or tooth decay. This can go unnoticed if you don’t go for regular dental check-ups, so you might only be aware of the problem once the decay develops into an infection. In this case, you will have sensitive teeth that will be hard to ignore.
When you neglect your oral health by having a sugary diet, forgetting to brush your teeth, or skipping dental check-ups, plaque will develop on your teeth. The acids in this substance can erode your enamel and cause tiny openings and holes — which exposes the dentin. This is why your teeth hurt or become more sensitive when you have a cavity.
Sensitivity can also happen when you have decay around the edges of your fillings. Over time, fillings can weaken or fracture. Bacteria can make the crevices their homes, which leads to a worn-out enamel. Because the filling exposes the nerves, you would experience some pain. Fortunately, your dentist can fix your fillings and reduce your sensitivity.
Plaque and tartar can also affect your gums, causing sensitivity. Both of these substances encourage more bacterial growth towards the root of your tooth. This leads to inflammation in your gums. As the problem develops, you will experience pain when chewing. In some cases, your gums might also bleed when you brush or floss.
The longer you leave the plaque and tartar in your teeth, the more problems they can cause. If you continue to neglect the problem, you might also suffer from tooth loss. Contact your dentist to have your plaque and tartar removed immediately.
Fortunately, gum disease is largely preventable as long as you keep up with your oral hygiene regime. This means brushing at least twice a day, flossing every day, and getting regular dental cleanings.
Your tooth can crack due to a variety of reasons — including weak fillings, biting on hard foods, mouth injury, pressure from teeth grinding, and old age. In many cases, you will experience pain that comes and go when your teeth are exposed to hot and cold temperatures. It’s also common to feel pain when chewing or biting.
You experience tooth sensitivity because when the hard tissues of your teeth crack, the pieces will move while chewing. Because of this, the pulp becomes irritated. Your dentin is also exposed, so you might be more sensitive to hot or cold drinks.
To manage the symptoms of a cracked tooth, you can use ice to reduce the swelling. For the time being, avoid eating anything too acidic, cold, chewy, or sugary. If the pain is severe, you might take some over-the-counter pain medication. Lastly, schedule a visit with your dentist so they can fix the problem.
Now that you know the causes of sensitive teeth, it’s time to get your teeth and gums checked by a dentist! They can help you prevent and treat worn-out enamel, tooth cavity, gum disease, and cracked teeth. Make sure to keep up with your oral hygiene regime and have frequent dental cleanings to reduce the recurrence of teeth sensitivity.
If you’re interested in booking an appointment with a dentist, you can contact us here at Elevate Dental! We have specialists that can help protect your smile and assist you with your dental concerns.