Nearly all of us have felt the pain of a toothache or teeth that are sensitive to hot, cold, sugary and/or spicy food and beverages. And for some of us, that pain has caused us to make an extra trip to the dentist, to try to figure out how to resolve the pain. But, what exactly causes tooth sensitivity? Can it be prevented?
There are Many Causes of Tooth Sensitivity.
To understand what causes sensitive teeth, it’s important to understand the anatomy of the tooth. The tooth is made of many different layers. The main material that the tooth is made up of is called dentin, which contains tiny nerve endings. A hard outer layer of enamel protects the dentin in your teeth. The root of your tooth, which also contains nerve endings, is protected by a layer of cementum. According to dentists at the Academy of General Dentistry, over 40 million Americans experience tooth sensitivity. Common causes of tooth sensitivity include:
- Tooth enamel erosion, which can be caused by using a hard toothbrush or a hard grip when brushing your teeth, or by eating acidic food and beverages such as carbonated drinks, fruit juices or citrus fruit.
- Tooth decay, such as untreated cavities.
- Old fillings that are worn out exposing your tooth dentin.
- Bleeding in the teeth or an infection in the root pulp.
- Receding gums or gum disease.
- Grinding your teeth, especially at night.
- Dental damage such as broken or chipped teeth, or damaged fillings and crowns.
- Oral cancer, which in some cases causes tooth pain.
- Temporary sensitivity from dental procedures including root canals, crowns, fillings and professional teeth whitening, which typically go away within a few hours to a few days.
What Can Be Done to Resolve Toothaches and Sensitive Teeth?
There are many ways that Monrovia dentist Dr. Q may help you find relief from your toothache or sensitive teeth. Relief may come from simply switching the way you brush your teeth – using a soft grip and a toothbrush with soft bristles – to using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Relief may also come from dental procedures such as filling a cavity, fixing a worn out filling, getting a crown or getting a root canal. If receding gum lines are causing your tooth sensitivity, your Monrovia dentist may suggest a gum graft to protect the roots of your teeth.
How Can I Prevent Sensitive Teeth?
The best way to prevent sensitive teeth is to practice good oral hygiene. Always brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Make sure you brush with a soft toothbrush and a gentle grip, so you do not wear down the enamel of your teeth. Floss your teeth once daily, before you brush them so that you don’t floss away the fluoride from the spaces in between your teeth, where plaque often gathers and tooth decay usually begins. And make sure you visit your Monrovia dentist Dr. Q every 6 months for a teeth cleaning, and to address any concerns that you may have with your teeth or your gums.
If you have sensitive teeth, there’s no reason that you should suffer through the pain. Now’s the time to let Monrovia dentist Dr. Q know. Schedule an appointment today by calling (626) 599-9818.