Having sensitive teeth is not fun at all. It is an extremely excruciating affair, whereby you feel like a million tiny needles have attacked your teeth when you take something hot or cold. And this becomes worse with time unless you do something about it.
In most cases, understanding the root cause of the issue is essential. Dentists say that tooth sensitivity occurs when the nerve endings are exposed either due to tooth enamel erosion or some other problem with the gum or pulp of the tooth. The nerve endings are connected to the pulp of the tooth.
For this reason, when the teeth are exposed to the factors that trigger sensitivity, you may experience a sharp pain in the pulp. If the pain is unbearable and persistent, check with your dentist as soon as possible for a quick remedy. So, if you are dealing with tooth sensitivity, here is everything you need to know about it.
Triggers/ Symptoms of Tooth Sensitivity
Most patients with sensitive teeth may experience discomfort or pain as a response to certain triggers. Some of these common triggers include:
- Hot or cold foods and beverages
- Cold air
- Sweet treats
- Acidic foods and beverages
- Cold water, especially during routine oral cleanings
- Alcohol-based mouthwash
- Brushing or flossing teeth
Also, it is important to note that symptoms may come and go over time for no apparent reason. They may also range from mild to intense.
Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
There are several factors that can contribute to tooth sensitivity, and not every one of them is cause for alarm. Here are the different reasons why you may be experiencing tooth sensitivity. Understanding and knowing the common factors may help you pinpoint what is the cause of your discomfort.
- Tooth Cavity
Even a tiny amount of tooth decay can expose your tooth dentin and lead to sensitivity. If you have a minor cavity, it is advisable that you visit your dentist and have it addressed immediately.
While brushing your teeth regularly is recommended, harsh brushing may cause a lot of damage. Avoid being too abrasive with your teeth; ensure that you use a soft or medium bristled toothbrush.
- Gum Issues
There are several gum-related problems that could lead to sensitive teeth, such as gum recession, gum disease, dental procedures, and over-flossing.
Ice is hard and can easily crack your tooth enamel, making your teeth more sensitive.
- Teeth Whitening Treatment
Tooth sensitivity is a common and temporary side effect of teeth whitening treatment. If you have had treatment lately and the sensitivity seems not to go away after some time, it could be that the treatment you are using is too harsh for your teeth or you are using the treatments too often.
There are numerous possible causes of tooth sensitivity, most of which must be diagnosed or treated by a dentist. Always work with your dentist to determine the causes of your tooth sensitivity and decide on the right path to fix it.
How to Treat Tooth Sensitivity
When treating tooth sensitivity, there are a number of dental products you can try. In some instances, home remedies or store-bought products can be an easy, quick fix for sensitivity. However, one will need an emergency visit to the dentist for more severe cases. Here are some of the ways of dealing with sensitive teeth.
- Desensitizing Toothpaste
Desensitizing toothpaste contains special analgesic properties that prevent the transmission of pain to the nerves. However, it will need several applications before clearing or reducing the sensitivity.
- Honey and Warm Water
Honey contains antibacterial properties and can be used to speed healing and reduce swelling and inflammation. Rinse your mouth with warm water mixed with honey to reduce pain from sensitive teeth.
- Wear a Mouthguard at Night
Sometimes tooth sensitivity is caused by teeth grinding at night. If this is an issue for you, get a custom-made mouthguard to be worn during sleep. The guard will protect your teeth against pressure and prevent damage that can be caused by nighttime grinding.
- Salt Water Rinse
Salt contains effective antiseptic properties that can help to reduce inflammation. Gargle with salt water twice daily to reduce the pain from sensitive teeth.
- Root Canal Treatment
This treatment is often recommended when other methods do not work. Even though it is often the last resort, it is usually the most effective treatment for tooth sensitivity.
Tooth sensitivity is treatable and reversible; however, you must seek your dentist’s services to identify the root cause of the problem. Do not overlook tooth sensitivity that does not improve, even if it is minor. Take the necessary steps to improve your oral health and consult your dentist if the pain persists.
You do not have to live with sensitive teeth. Please feel free to contact our Baywaters Dentist today for more information or to schedule an appointment.