Tooth sensitivity is a very common problem that can make your teeth tingle or twinge when they encounter certain triggers—including hot and cold temperatures, cold wind, and sugar. This sensation occurs when dentin—the nervous interior of teeth—becomes exposed. To better understand why you have tooth sensitivity and how your dentist can help, here are five possible reasons your dentin may be exposed.
Why Are My Teeth So Sensitive?
1. Excessively Hard Brushing
Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time is an essential part of keeping cavity-causing plaque out of your mouth. However, brushing too much or using hard bristles can gradually wear away at enamel and cause dentin to become exposed. To avoid additional damage, talk to your dentist about how you can adjust your oral hygiene routine to protect your teeth—such as by using a soft-bristle toothbrush.
2. Acidic Foods
Many foods—such as citrus fruits, tomato sauce, coffee, and pickles—leave behind acids that can be destructive to your tooth enamel. While you may not be able to avoid these items altogether, you can help minimize the risk of dental erosion by consuming them along with less-acidic foods, including cheese and nuts. Rinsing your mouth with a glass of water can also help remove and neutralize acids.
3. Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening treatments work by opening up small pores in tooth enamel so that stains can be lifted out. While this process is temporary, it can leave your teeth extremely sensitive. To avoid this effect, visit a dentist for professional whitening, as they can adjust application to minimize sensitivity. If whitening still leaves you irritated, ask your dentist about how desensitizing toothpaste can help.
4. Cracked Tooth
Chips and cracks in teeth may not always be visible, but they can still expose sensitive dentin. If you suspect that you’ve cracked a tooth, don’t wait to seek help, as the problem may only continue to grow worse. Instead, visit a dentist who can repair the damage through bonding, root canal, or dental crown treatment.
5. Gingivitis or Gum Disease
If you have gingivitis and gum disease, the bacterial infection behind the condition will eventually cause your gum tissue to recede. As this happens, sensitive roots and portions of the teeth will become exposed. To correct this problem, your dentist may clear the infection through intensive cleaning treatments and antibiotics. If a significant portion of tissue has receded, gum grafting may also be recommended.
If you’re experiencing any type of discomfort with your teeth or gums, turn to the comprehensive services of Gladstein Dental Center. Serving the New Britain, CT, community for nearly three decades, this family dentistry clinic can assess teeth in-depth to determine what’s causing sensitivity. Whether you need a deep cleaning or a root canal to address tooth sensitivity, this provider will make treatment a stress-free and comfortable experience, so you can heal with confidence. For more information on these services, visit this dentist online. To schedule an appointment, call (860) 223-1162.