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Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?
Have you ever felt pain or discomfort after a bite of ice cream or a drink of hot coffee? You’re not alone. While pain caused by hot or cold foods could be a sign of a cavity, it’s also common in people who have sensitive teeth.
Tooth sensitivity, or “dentin hypersensitivity,” is exactly what it sounds like: pain or discomfort in the teeth as a response to certain stimuli, such as hot or cold temperatures.
It may be temporary or a chronic problem, and it can affect one tooth, several teeth, or all the teeth in a single individual. It can have a number of different causes, but most cases of sensitive teeth are easily treated with a change in your oral hygiene regimen.
Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth
People with sensitive teeth may experience pain or discomfort as a response to certain triggers. You may feel this pain at the roots of the affected teeth. The most common triggers include:
Your symptoms may may range from mild to intense and come and go over time for no obvious reason.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
Sensitivity can be caused by many factors including, dental wear, gum recession, whitening and cracks in the teeth. Some people naturally have more sensitive teeth than others due to having thinner enamel. The enamel is the outer layer of the tooth that protects it. In many cases, the tooth’s enamel can be worn down from:
Sometimes, other conditions can lead to tooth sensitivity, especially conditions that wear down your teeth’s enamel like acid reflux. Another condition causing sensitivity is gum recession where sections of the tooth are exposed and unprotected, also causing sensitivity.
Tooth decay, broken teeth, chipped teeth, and worn-down fillings or crowns can leave the dentin of the tooth exposed, causing sensitivity. If this is the case, you’ll likely only feel sensitivity in one particular tooth or region in the mouth instead of the majority of teeth.
Your teeth may be temporarily sensitive following dental work like getting fillings, crowns, or teeth bleaching. In this case, sensitivity will also be confined to one tooth or the teeth surrounding the tooth that received dental work. This should subside after several days.
How are sensitive teeth diagnosed?
If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity make an appointment with Glaser Dental. Dr. Glaser will look at the health of your teeth and check for potential problems like cavities, loose fillings, or recessed gums that could be causing the sensitivity.
If the pain is minor, Dr. Glaser can check for potential problems during your routine dental cleaning. He may touch your teeth using dental instruments to check for sensitivity, and he might also order an X-ray on your teeth to rule out causes like cavities.
How is tooth sensitivity treated?
If your tooth sensitivity is mild, you can try over-the-counter dental treatments.
Choose toothpaste that’s labeled as being specifically made for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes won’t have any irritating ingredients, and may have desensitizing ingredients that help block the discomfort from traveling to the nerve of the tooth.
- When it comes to mouthwash, choose an alcohol-free mouth rinse, as it will be less irritating to sensitive teeth.
- Using softer toothbrushes and brushing more gently can also help. Soft toothbrushes will be labeled as such.
While it typically takes several applications for these remedies to work, you should see an improvement within a week.
If home treatments don’t work, talk with Dr. Glaser about prescription toothpaste and mouthwash. Dr. Glaser may also opt to apply fluoride gel or prescription-grade desensitizing agents in-office. These treatments can help to strengthen the enamel and protect your teeth.
Don’t suffer from tooth sensitivity! Call 715-359-4344 now to schedule your consultation with Dr. Glaser to FIX YOUR TOOTH SENSITIVITY – WAUSAU.