Have you recently noticed that your teeth are more sensitive than usual? It can be incredibly frustrating and uncomfortable, making average day-to-day life difficult. However, it is difficult to treat your sensitive teeth if you don’t know what the cause is.
If you have sensitive teeth, your dentist can help address and treat this in many ways. But, to treat it, you need to know what is causing it. Our team at Hendersonville Family Dental has compiled a list of some of the most common causes of sensitive teeth and how you can relieve this discomfort.
Are Sensitive Teeth Normal?
Having sensitive teeth is not uncommon, especially among adults ages 20 to 40. However, knowing why you are experiencing this sensitivity is important for understanding whether this pain is temporary or something you should address with your dentist. There are several causes of sensitivity that you can address at home to quickly relieve this pain.
1. Cavities Or Tooth Decay
You likely won’t experience sensitive teeth from cavities in its earliest stage. However, as the decay begins to spread, you may notice that your teeth are beginning to feel more sensitive than ever, especially following exposure to hot or cold foods and drinks. As your cavity gets worse and you begin to experience tooth decay, your nerves become exposed, and the sensitivity may become a more consistent pain. If you believe you are dealing with a cavity or tooth decay, it is essential that you see a dentist as soon as possible.
2. Brushing Too Hard
While it is essential for you to brush regularly to maintain proper oral hygiene, it is crucial that you brush properly to prevent damage to your teeth. If you are brushing too hard or are using a hard-bristled toothbrush, you may wear down your tooth enamel and expose your dentin. In addition to having sensitive teeth, you may also experience gum recession. To avoid this sensitivity, you should consider getting a soft-bristled brush and using a light touch when brushing. While this doesn’t require immediate attention from a dentist, you should consider seeing a dentist for restorative treatments.
3. Overly Whitening
If you have ever whitened your teeth at home, you know that prolonged use of these whitening products can make your teeth sensitive. This sensitivity is caused by overly abrasive and acidic products. These products may lead to slight demineralization, which makes your teeth more porous, exposing tubules that lead to the nerves in your teeth. As they are exposed to sensation, they begin to feel irritated, leading to tooth sensitivity. If you are experiencing sensitive teeth following whitening, you should use fluoride-rich toothpaste, which will build a protective layer over the exposed dentin.
4. Grinding Your Teeth
Whether you realize it or not, clenching and grinding your teeth is not uncommon. Some people may even find that they experience irritation from grinding their teeth in their sleep. As you grind your teeth, your enamel begins to wear away, making them especially sensitive to heat, cold, and any other form of sensation. There are several options to treat your sensitive teeth, which should help alleviate this discomfort. Your dentist may recommend that you wear a night guard at night to protect your enamel. If the problem persists, however, you may be prescribed a muscle relaxant or medication to address stress and anxiety.
5. An Acidic Diet
You may have heard your dentist talk about the importance of avoiding sugars and sticky candies. They also insist on avoiding overly acidic foods and drinks, including citrus fruits, juices, vinegar, and soda. As you regularly consume these foods, they may begin to cause enamel erosion. If you have sensitive teeth and regularly consume these foods and drinks, you should consider limiting them in your diet. Limiting these foods and beverages should help you treat some of this sensitivity, though you may want to consult a dentist to ensure your teeth are still healthy and don’t require additional attention.
6. Recent Dental Procedures
If you have recently undergone a dental procedure, it may have made your teeth sensitive. Some of this sensitivity you experience is due to exposed or irritated nerves. It may lead to an increase in inflammation. This sensitivity should go away as you heal, generally within the first week following your procedure. However, if you have persistent sensitive teeth, you should consider consulting with your dentist. Upon consultation, they should be able to tell if you are experiencing any adverse reactions.
7. Gum Disease
Gum disease moves very quietly, and by the time it has emerged, you will likely experience sensitive teeth. As your gum disease progresses and the gums begin to recede, you may find that the roots of your teeth are exposed. Much like with many other oral diseases, this sensitivity often occurs when exposed to cold or hot substances. If you are experiencing gum disease that has progressed to extensive gum recession, you should contact your dentist in order to start regenerative treatments as soon as possible.
Addressing Sensitive Teeth With Hendersonville Family Dental
There are many ways to address the sensitivity you are experiencing, including introducing new, sensitive tooth-specific toothpaste and seeing your dentist. It is especially important to see a dentist if you are not sure what is causing this sensitivity. A dentist can quickly address the problem and create a plan to prevent continuing sensitivity.
Our team at Hendersonville Family Dental can help find the cause and alleviate pain as quickly as possible, allowing you to return to normal life. From filling cavities to regular cleanings, our team is confident that we can protect your teeth from damage that may lead to sensitivity. If you would like to schedule an appointment to address any sensitivity you are experiencing, reach out to our team today.