If you have tooth sensitivity, your teeth ache whenever they come into contact with certain substances and temperatures. The enamel is your teeth’s first line of defense. If it is damaged, your nerve endings are exposed, causing pain. Tooth sensitivity is often the result of worn enamel.
Causes of sensitive teeth
- Brushing habits. If you brush your teeth too hard or use a hard-bristled toothbrush, your enamel can be worn down, exposing your dentin and leading to gum recession.
- Gum recession. People with periodontal disease usually suffer gum recession and exposed dentin.
- Gingivitis. Gum inflammation may cause the root of your tooth to be exposed.
- Cracked teeth. The bacteria from plague may fill up cracked teeth and cause inflamed tooth pulp. Some cases may result in abscess and even infection.
- Teeth grinding or clenching. This habit may harm the
- Tooth-whitening products. Theseproducts use harsh chemicals to get rid of the stains on your teeth. However, the chemicals may also remove the enamel.
- Plaque buildup.
- Long-term use of mouthwash. Acids are found in several over-the-counter mouthwashes. These acids can worsen existing tooth sensitivity and cause further damage to the dentin. If you want to use mouthwash, go for neutral flouride ones.
- Acidic foods. These cangradually remove the enamel.
- Dental procedures. Some dental procedures such asprofessional cleaning, root planing, crown replacement and other tooth restoration procedures may induce tooth sensitivity. Most of the time, the sensitivity goes away on its own after 4 to 6 weeks.
How to deal with sensititive teeth
- Be gentle with your teeth. Don’t brush your teeth too hard or you may risk brushing away your enamel. Side-to-side brushing at the gumline promotes enamel damage. Use a soft-bristled brush to clean your teeth at a 45-degree angle to protect your enamel.
- Steer clear from acidic foods and drinks(soda, sticky candy, high-sugar carbs, etc.) Replace them with fruits and vegetables, cheese, milk, and plain yogurt. Green or black tea is also a good idea. If you have just eaten acidic food, wait at least an hour before brushing your teeth.
- Break the clenching habit. Grinding your teeth hurts your enamel greatly. Try to de-stress to see if you can break this bad habit. Also, you can ask your dentist for help. He or she may give you a splint or mouth guard.
- Stop being obsessed with bleaching. Too much bleaching may cause you problems. The good thing is that sensitivity caused by tooth bleaching is not permanent. If you hold back, your pain may resolve.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: July 7, 2017 | Last Modified: July 7, 2017
What Can You Do About Sensitive Teeth? http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tooth-sensitivity#1. Accessed July 3, 2017.
Tooth Sensitivity: Causes, Remedies & Treatment. https://www.livescience.com/44377-sensitive-teeth.html. Accessed July 3, 2017.