If you find that your teeth are sensitive, you may wonder what’s causing it or if you should be worried. Thankfully, there are many easily-fixable reasons this might be happening.
Your Oral Hygiene Routine
Brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with bristles that are too hard can wear down the protective layers of your teeth, exposing microscopic hollow canals that lead to your dental nerves. These canals are sensitive to temperature or certain textures.
If you have a habit of really scrubbing your teeth, you might want to alter your tooth brushing routine. You may also want to go down a step on the hardness of your bristles to see if that helps.
Tooth-whitening toothpaste can also cause sensitivity issues. Some people are particularly sensitive to some of the chemicals involved. You might want to change to a normal toothpaste for a few weeks to see if that solves the problem.
Your mouthwash can contain similar chemicals or alcohol that can damage the hard layer of your teeth. If you think this might be the problem, perhaps switching brands or to a more gentle mouthwash will fix it.
Damage to Teeth
Tooth sensitivity can also be a symptom of excessive plaque or gum disease. Plaque can cause your enamel to wear away, making your teeth more sensitive as their protection diminishes. Receding gums can also cause tooth sensitivity as more of your tooth is exposed.
Decay around the edges of fillings can also lead to sensitivity. If your fillings are a decade or more old, or if you have other issues that can put excess pressure on your teeth or fillings, you should contact your dentist for a checkup.
Tooth-grinding is one of the things that can lead to excessive stress on teeth that can damage both teeth and fillings. If you grind your teeth, you’ll definitely want to talk to your dentist about a mouth guard or other solutions to prevent more damage.
Tooth-grinding can lead to another cause of sensitivity – a crack in your teeth. Much like brushing too hard, a crack in your tooth can cause your dental nerves to be exposed.
You should contact your dentist if you suspect damage to your teeth so they can assess your situation and come up with solutions.
If you’ve recently been to the dentist, that can be a cause for temporary sensitivity. It’s common to have more sensitivity after a root canal, a filling, or placement of a crown. This type of sensitivity usually goes away in a short time. If it doesn’t, you may have to schedule another appointment with your dentist to see if there could be an infection.
Some people find that toothpaste designed for people with sensitive teeth helps to numb them out, but they don’t work for everyone. If your sensitivity is serious, you should see your dentist for an evaluation. They can often find the cause of the problem to help treat you, and professional fluoride rinses or application of a fluoride gel to strengthen the protective coating of your teeth can provide some relief. Ultimately, only a visit with your dentist can help you find the source of your problem, but you don’t have to live in pain or discomfort. Your dentist is skilled in treating tooth sensitivity and will be happy to help.