Do your teeth sometimes hurt when you drink coffee? Do you ever avoid brushing your teeth because it makes you wince? Have you ever said no to ice cream because you’re worried your teeth will feel funny? It’s time to talk to your dentist about tooth sensitivity. To treat the issue, your dentist will need to nail down the cause. “Why are my teeth sensitive?” you ask? Let’s explore the possibilities . . .
Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?
Typically tooth sensitivity is caused by either worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots. However, it can also be caused by a cavity, a cracked or chipped tooth, a worn filling, tooth whitening, or gum disease, amongst other possibilities. So if your teeth have been bothering you, it’s important that you visit your dentist to get to the root of the problem. Let’s review the two most common causes in more detail.
Worn Tooth Enamel
Enamel is the hard, protective layer on the outside of each tooth. If your enamel begins wearing away, the underlying layer of the tooth (known as dentin) may be exposed and its nerve endings may cause pain. To protect your tooth enamel, it’s important that you do the following:
- Don’t brush too hard. Brush gently using a soft-bristled brush.
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks, like soda, sticky candy, sugary carbs, etc. After eating these substances, rinse your mouth with water. Wait at least an hour to brush your teeth, as your enamel is softer after consuming acidic substances.
- Wear a mouthguard if you grind your teeth. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can be caused by a variety of things. Over time, it may wear down your enamel. If you grind your teeth, your dentist may recommend a mouthguard.
Exposed Tooth Roots
If your gum tissue begins receding, the roots of your teeth may become exposed. Because your tooth roots aren’t covered by enamel and contain thousands of tiny dentinal tubules that lead to the pulp, they are very sensitive. And when you eat hot, cold, or sweet food, these stimuli may reach the nerves in the pulp via the dentinal tubules. To avoid gum recession, it’s important that you do the following:
- Don’t brush too hard. Not only can this wear away the enamel, but also it can cause gum recession.
- Maintain good oral hygiene. Brush twice a day, floss once a day, and visit your dentist regularly. Poor oral health can cause gum disease, which may lead to receding gums.
Have you been asking yourself, “Why are my teeth sensitive?” To identify the cause and rule out any underlying issues that could be causing discomfort, it’s important that you make an appointment with your dentist. Based on your circumstances, your dentist can recommend a treatment.
Potential treatments for tooth sensitivity include desensitizing toothpaste, the application of fluoride, bonding, a surgical gum graft, or a root canal. In addition, your dental team may recommend that you take better care of your oral health generally by brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly.
Are you looking for an experienced, reliable, and friendly dentist near Springfield, Missouri? Contact Wilkinson Dental. Dr. Wilkinson and his team will give you the personalized treatment you deserve using state-of-the-art technology. For exceptional and comprehensive dental care, schedule your first appointment today by calling 417-708-0556 or requesting an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!