Some of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity include tooth decay, acidic foods, cold drinks, citrus fruits, or poor dental hygiene.
Did you know that more than 40 million American adults have experienced some form of tooth sensitivity in their lifetime? If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, you probably want to know what causes it and what treatment options are available.
Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
Teeth can become sensitive due to various reasons. Some of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity include tooth decay, acidic foods, cold drinks, citrus fruits, or poor dental hygiene. Dental treatments can also make your teeth sensitive. This includes:
- Tooth filling: A tooth filling can cause one tooth to be taller than other teeth. This can lead to tooth discomfort and sensitivity when chewing food due to the extra pressure on the affected tooth. Filing can also cause inflammation of nerve endings inside the affected tooth, thus causing an uncomfortable sensation.
- Whitening treatments: Teeth whitening chemicals work by penetrating the tooth structure to remove colored compounds in the dentin. Unfortunately, the chemicals can get to the nerve endings, causing bleaching sensitivity. You can tell if you’re suffering from bleaching sensitivity if you can feel pain even without any provoking stimuli such as hot or cold drinks.
How Do I Prevent Teeth Sensitivity?
To prevent tooth sensitivity, we recommend scheduling regular visits to the dentist and proper brushing using soft-bristled toothbrushes. In addition, if you have cavities, consider a filing treatment. This will ensure the soft exposed roots are protected from any form of stimuli. Sometimes, fluoride-based toothpaste can help. Also, consider reducing acidic foods and drinks. If the symptoms persist, speak with your dentist to determine the source of the problem.
What Treatments Options Can a Dentist Offer for Sensitive Teeth?
Treatment options for sensitive teeth can vary depending on the causes. Here are some of the possible options that the dentist may recommend.
- Root canal: During root canal treatment (endodontics), the enamel is removed, and the soft tissues inside the tooth are cleaned and sealed. This prevents recontamination of the tooth’s interior and prevents fragile nerve endings from being damaged and causing irritation. Pain after a root canal treatment is totally normal. However, it should not take long.
- Fluoride treatment: When fluoride is applied to the affected tooth, it hardens the pulp, thus giving an instant and long-term relief of tooth sensitivity. Regular follow-ups of clinical recommendations after fluoride treatment are necessary and should be done by licensed dentists.
- Mouthguard: Over time, teeth grinding can cause various problems such as jaw pain and wearing of the enamel, exposing sensitive tissues and nerves within your teeth. Your dentists can fit a mouthguard to prevent any irritation related to grinding.
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