What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

People with tooth sensitivity experience pain or discomfort when they drink or eat hot, cold, sour or sweet foods, or when they breathe in cold air. The sensation experienced is very sudden, sharp and often very painful. Teeth sensitivity is higher in people between ages 25 to 30. Teeth sensitivity occurs when the dentin is exposed because of eroded enamel, which is the hard covering of our teeth. The gums that cover the roots of our teeth may also recede, exposing the tooth roots, which are not covered by the hard enamel. These roots contain thousands of nerves, which are affected by the hot, cold or sweet stimuli causing the sharp pain. So what factors cause gum recession and tooth erosion leading to sensitive teeth? There are numerous factors, and this article will explain some of them and their solutions. Brushing your teeth too vigorously is one cause of teeth sensitivity. When you brush your teeth too hard with a toothbrush containing hard bristles for a long time, your enamel wears down and exposes the dentin. Your gums also pull away from the base of your teeth.  As the gums recede, they expose the roots of your teeth that contain sensitive nerve endings. To prevent this, simply use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Diseases and teeth sensitivity Diseases such as periodontal disease and gum disease cause exposure of the tooth root when your inflamed and sore gums lose the ligaments supporting them. Chipped or cracked teeth may be filled with food particles and bacteria leading to inflammation of the gums and teeth sensitivity. A build up of plaque on your teeth may cause sensitivity. Always brush your teeth everyday to prevent the plaque from building up. See your dentist at regular intervals for professional cleaning and advice on oral hygiene. Dental visits are recommended every six months or less. Grinding your teeth wears down the enamel and exposes the underlying dentin. Most people grind their teeth while sleeping.  This can be prevented with the use of a mouth guard. Dental procedures like teeth cleaning and restoration, where intensive grinding and scrubbing of teeth is involved, can lead to sensitive teeth. Sensitivity caused by these procedures is not permanent and will disappear after a few days. Foods can cause dental degradation Some foods contain high acid content, and regular consumption of these foods will wear down your enamel. Always watch what you eat and avoid such acidic foods like citrus fruits, pickles and tomatoes. Some mouthwashes on the market contain acids that damage your exposed dentin making teeth sensitivity worse. If you suffer from sensitive teeth, your dentist can give you advice about choosing the best mouthwash solution or toothpaste that is neutral and safe for your teeth. Dr. Peter Hazim can suggest the best desensitizing toothpaste for your sensitive teeth, and can clean your teeth professionally to remove the plaque. Please call us at (972) 727-5599. We are conveniently located at 105 N. Alma Drive, Suite 100 in Allen, Texas.

Dr. Hazim is a member of the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. A graduate of Loyola University, Dr. Hazim has undergone continuing education at the Pankey Institute and has received accreditation from the Western Regional Examining Board.

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