Sensitive teeth are one of the main reasons people contact or come in to our Colorado Springs dentist office. This post goes over the basics of tooth sensitivity, including what causes it and what you can do about it.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
As the oral health company Sensodyne advises, sensitive teeth are essentially overreacting to “stimuli such as hot, cold, sweet or acidic foods and drinks.” They may also respond in an unpleasant manner to “cold air” and, frustratingly enough, to “brushing your teeth.” The discomfort may be mild or severe, and its presence and severity can both change over time. Additionally, it is possible that only certain teeth show sensitivity.
There are many possible root causes behind sensitive teeth. WebMD points to worn enamel as one factor. (Brushing too vigorously or using a brush that is overly hard can wear down enamel, as can tooth grinding and acidic drinks and food.) Receding gums and damage or decay to teeth may also lead to sensitivity. There may also be temporary sensitivity after certain dental procedures, like bleaching or the placement of crowns. That will fade over the course of a few days.
Where Do I Get a Diagnosis?
If you’re concerned about sensitive teeth, schedule a dentist appointment. Your dentist will be able to look for issues that may be causing the sensitivity. For instance, X-rays may confirm that cavities are a factor. Another tactic is to “touch your teeth using dental instruments,” per WebMD, which helps reveal sensitivity.
What Can I Do?
If you are diagnosed with sensitive teeth, there are many paths toward alleviating your symptoms. Your dentist will advise you on the best one(s) to pursue. Per the Mayo Clinic, desensitizing toothpaste and the application of fluoride are two options. If exposed roots are a problem, then your dentist might apply “bonding resin to the sensitive root surfaces.” Surgical gum grafts can help relieve the sensitivity caused by a loss of gum tissue. Finally, if other measures prove to not work, a root canal may be necessary.
Beyond that, there are steps you can take at home to ward off future sensitivity. Invest in a brush with soft bristles and be gentle when brushing your teeth. Fluoride toothpaste and flossing are also helpful allies. Additionally, if grinding your teeth is an issue, be sure to look into getting a mouthguard. (Your dentist will likely be able to set you up with a custom one.) Finally, cut down on your consumption of acidic foods and drinks.
If you have sensitive teeth, the best way to find a solution is to visit your dentist. Contact HollowBrook Dental to schedule your appointment.