If eating something cold like ice cream or sipping something warm like coffee causes you pain, you may be suffering from a common problem called “sensitive teeth”. Tooth sensitivity is caused by a number of things.
Some causes include:
- Brushing too hard. Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled brush can wear down your enamel. It can also cause your gums to recede.
- Tooth decay near the gum line.
- Recession of the gums. As gums move away from the tooth due to gum disease, the root surface becomes exposed.
- Gingivitis. Inflamed gum tissue can cause sensitivity due to loss of supporting ligaments.
- Cracked teeth. Chipped or broken teeth may fill with bacteria and cause inflammation.
- Teeth grinding. Grinding your teeth can wear down enamel and expose underlying dentin.
- Tooth whitening products.
- Your age. Tooth sensitivity is most common in people between the ages of 25 and 30.
- Plaque build-up. Plaque on the root surface can cause sensitivity.
- Mouthwash. Long-term use of certain mouthwashes. Some contain acids that can damage the dentin layer of the tooth.
- Acidic foods. Foods with high acid content can cause enamel to erode.
Some steps you can take to prevent sensitive teeth include:
- Good oral hygiene.
- Use a soft-bristled tooth brush. This will result in less toothbrush abrasion to the surface of your teeth and less irritation to your gums.
- Use desensitizing toothpaste. There are several brands of toothpaste for sensitive teeth. With regular use you should notice a decrease in sensitivity.
- Avoid highly acidic foods. Try not to eat highly acidic foods on a regular basis.
- Use fluoridated dental products. Daily use of fluoridated mouthwash can decrease sensitivity.
- Avoid teeth grinding. If you grind or clench your teeth at night, try using a mouth guard.
- Visit your dentist regularly.
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, call Lakeway Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry to set up an appointment today.