A sensitive tooth can be really annoying, as it can cause many different sensations, from a little discomfort to acute pain. In some cases, it can be as disabling and challenging as a severe case of tooth decay.
This article aims to help you understand tooth sensitivity and aid you in preventing this undesired condition.
What Is Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is a condition where a normal environmental agent, such as temperature or some flavors, triggers some degree of discomfort on one’s tooth. This discomfort can be from just a minor sensation, to a really sudden, sharp pain.
This condition is typically present when there are cavities, but sometimes tooth sensitivity presents itself without any visible sign of tooth decay.
Tooth sensitivity appears when the roots of one or more teeth are exposed, instead of being covered by the gums, as they should normally be. As these roots lack the protection of a resistant cover such as the enamel, foreign agents affect them directly.
Most common factors that trigger tooth sensitivity are hot or cold drinks or foods, and less common triggers are sweet, spicy or sour foods.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
There are a number of factors that can lead to the development of tooth sensitivity. Some of them include:
Certain types of foods and drinks – Foods containing a great deal of acids (such as tomatoes, oranges and other citrus fruits, coffee, tea, foods containing vinegar, etc.) may lead to tooth sensitivity when consumed regularly without taking appropriate measures to prevent those acids from damaging the tooth’s enamel.
Pre-existing conditions – Diseases and other conditions can cause tooth sensitivity. Gingivitis, periodontal disease, a cracked tooth and cavities are all conditions that can provide a direct path between the environment and the root and nerve, resulting in tooth sensitivity.
Poor hygiene – Directly related to the development and proliferation of diseases, a poor mouth hygiene provides an ideal environment for bacteria and other bugs to grow, damaging not only gums and teeth, but the whole mouth.
Certain human actions – Some hygienic actions can indeed do more harm than good. For instance, brushing too vigorously or using a hard brush can cause the gums to detach themselves from the teeth, exposing the roots. It also can scratch the enamel, leaving tiny marks where bacteria can live. Acid mouthwashes, as well as certain peroxide-based tooth whitening products, can lead to sensitivity. Additionally, some surgical procedures may cause temporary tooth sensitivity as a side effect.
How Can I Fight Tooth Sensitivity?
You can reduce the risk of developing tooth sensitivity, and also decrease the discomfort it causes if you already are affected, by keeping some simple tips in mind:
Clean your mouth the right way – Use only brushes with soft bristles, and do not brush too vigorously. It’s better to brush slowly and thoroughly for five minutes than brushing fast and strongly for three. Also, use non-acid mouthwashes, and avoid those which contain too much alcohol. Choose fluoridated toothpaste, there are some great products aimed specifically for fighting tooth sensitivity.
Don’t let acids get into action – If you eat a lot of citrus and other vegetables (you should, they are healthy!), or use a lot of vinegar on your meals, then never forget to bring your toothbrush with you. Brushing after a meal significantly reduces the chances of tooth sensitivity.
Visit your dentist regularly – A professional can asses your current mouth’s status and give you exact instructions on what to do.
Keeping these things in mind will help you fight this awful condition, decreasing tooth sensitivity and preventing pain and discomfort.
We hope this article was helpful to you. See you soon!