Tooth Sensitivity: Top Causes, Treatments, and How to Find Relief

Find relief from tooth sensitivity.

Find Relief From Tooth Sensitivity

Some people suffer from tooth sensitivity, and that can make eating and drinking anything extremely hot or cold a pain to consume. The pain can be sharp and sudden, and some people report feeling the pain deep in the tooth’s roots. But there are treatments for sensitive teeth, and the team at Monroe Family Dentistry in Greenville, South Carolina, has some tips on how their patients can treat their sensitive teeth.

What is tooth sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity happens when the dentin, or underlayer, of the tooth is exposed. This can happen due to many reasons, including:

  • Normal wear and tear
  • Tooth erosion
  • Gum recession

Sometimes, the roots of your teeth can become exposed after the gum recedes. Since the tooth’s roots are protected by anything, any type of food or drink that is hot, cold, or sweet, can reach those roots and the result is the sharp pain you may feel.

Occasionally, tooth sensitivity can be a symptom of another dental issue, like gum disease, a cracked or chipped tooth, or the start of a cavity. If you feel your teeth are sensitive to temperatures or sweets, schedule an appointment for a dental evaluation at Monroe Family Dentistry.

Top Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

If you are suffering from sensitive teeth, you might be wondering what is causing the pain. While there isn’t one thing that causes tooth sensitivity, here are some of the things that can cause tooth sensitivity:

  • Acidic foods: Highly acidic foods, like tomatoes, citrus fruits, and tea, can eat away at the enamel layer of your tooth, which can cause the dentin to be exposed if consumed in high quantities.
  • Age: A person’s age can contribute to tooth sensitivity. Dentists say tooth sensitivity is the highest between the ages of 25 and 30.
  • Chipped or cracked teeth: When a tooth is chipped or cracked, it can expose not only the dentin layer, but could also expose part of the tooth’s pulp and roots.
  • Gum disease: Gum disease is another cause of tooth sensitivity. Gum disease is when the gums are inflamed and sore, which can cause sensitivity as the gums recede and expose the tooth’s roots.
  • Mouthwash: Some mouthwashes available over the counter may have acid in them that can cause tooth sensitivity. If you do have sensitivity in your teeth, speak with your dentist about which mouthwashes use a neutral fluoride solution.
  • Receding gums: Receding gums can be a cause of tooth sensitivity, and your gums can recede as a result of periodontal disease. Some people experience receding gums due to thin gum tissue that comes thanks to genetics.
  • Rough brushing: If you are brushing your teeth too hard or using a toothbrush with hard bristles, you can wear down the enamel on your teeth over time and expose the dentin. Brushing your teeth too hard can also cause gum recession.
  • Teeth grinding: For teeth grinders, they need to be aware that their bad habit can cause the enamel of their teeth to wear down and expose the dentin layer of the teeth.
  • Teeth whitening products: You may want a brighter, whiter smile, but you should think twice about using teeth whitening products because they have been known to contribute to tooth sensitivity.

People who have recently had dental procedures, including fillings and cleanings, have also reported tooth sensitivity. Dentists say this is normal and should disappear in a few weeks.

Treatments for Tooth Sensitivity

If you suffer from sensitive teeth, you’re probably looking for ways to treat the sensitivity. Here are a few ways:

  • Avoid teeth grinding: If you are grinding your teeth at night, try wearing a nightguard when you sleep.
  • Desensitizing toothpaste: There are many different toothpastes that are made specially for sensitive teeth. When used regularly, teeth sensitivity can decrease. Sometimes, you may need to try multiple brands before you find the one that works for you.
  • Fluoridated dental products: Find dental products with fluoride in them, like mouthwash. Fluoride can help build up enamel that was worn down on teeth.
  • Good oral hygiene: The first step to keeping your teeth in top shape is by practicing good oral hygiene habits, like brushing properly and flossing at least twice a day.
  • Soft-bristled toothbrush: When brushing your teeth, make sure you are using a soft or ultra-soft bristled toothbrush. A softer bristled brush is less abrasive on teeth and gums.
  • Watch what you eat: Acidic foods can dissolve tooth enamel over time, which can expose the dentin. Make sure to limit foods that are acidic, and always brush your teeth a half hour after you eat.

Visit Greenville’s Top Dentist Twice a Year

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, you should also make sure to visit your dentist regularly, that way they can perform regular dental evaluations on your teeth and identify dental issues before they start. If you haven’t visited Monroe Family Dentistry within the last six months, give us a call and schedule an appointment today.