Have you ever experienced a sharp jolt of pain after exposing your teeth to hot or cold? If so, you could be suffering from tooth sensitivity. According to a study on the prevalence of dentin hypersensitivity published in The Journal of the American Dental Association, 12.3 percent of patients experienced hypersensitive teeth.
Tooth sensitivity is generally the result of exposed tooth roots or worn tooth enamel. However, other dental issues can also result in sensitivity. Learn more about the causes of tooth sensitivity and what treatments are available.
Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
Teeth sensitivity is a common condition that can range from mild to severe. While it can be difficult to determine the true cause of tooth sensitivity, the following factors are known to lead to the development of sensitive teeth:
- Natural Aging – Your teeth may become more sensitive as you age due to natural wear and tear on your enamel.
- Gum Recession – Some people have thinner gum tissue and are more likely to develop gum recession which occurs when the gum tissue begins to pull away from the teeth to expose the sensitive roots. Gum recession can also be a side effect of periodontal disease.
- Aggressive Brushing – Brushing your teeth too hard or with a hard-bristled toothbrush can wear tooth enamel, exposing the dentin layer underneath. Aggressive brushing can also result in gum recession.
- Teeth Grinding – Grinding or clenching your teeth are common ways to wear down the enamel and expose the sensitive dentin.
- Gum Disease – If you have been diagnosed with gum disease by your dentist in Clermont FL, you may experience side effects like gum inflammation that causes sensitivity.
- Cracked Teeth – A chipped or broken tooth can expose the root or underlying dentin layer, resulting in sensitivity.
- Use of Mouthwash – Certain mouthwashes contain harsh acids that can worsen tooth sensitivity. These acids tend to further damage the dentin layer. Ask your Clermont dental office for healthier mouthwash recommendations.
- Plaque Buildup – The buildup of plaque on the root surfaces of the teeth can cause uncomfortable sensitivity.
- Recent Dental Work – If you’ve recently undergone dental work, such as a teeth cleaning, filling, or restoration, you may experience temporary sensitivity that should gradually go away over the next four to six weeks.
- Acidic Foods – Regularly consuming acidic foods, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, tea, and pickles, can result in enamel erosion.
Treatment Options for Tooth Sensitivity
If you are bothered by tooth sensitivity, know that there are treatments available. Your dentist in Clermont can help you target the underlying cause of your sensitivity and recommend treatments based on your preferences and the condition of your teeth and gums. Depending on your unique case, your dentist may recommend:
1. Desensitizing Toothpaste
Available via prescription or over-the-counter, desensitizing toothpastes are designed to help block the pain signals that travel between the sensory nerves inside the teeth and the surface of the teeth.
2. Fluoride Treatment
Applying fluoride to the sensitive areas of your teeth can often reduce pain and strengthen tooth enamel. Fluoride treatments can be performed in-office or as take-home custom trays.
3. Root Canal
If your tooth sensitivity is causing you extreme pain, your dentist may recommend a root canal. During this procedure, the infected pulp and nerve in the root of the tooth are removed and the area is cleaned, shaped, and sealed.
4. Mouth Guard
Tooth sensitivity caused by grinding or clenching your teeth as you sleep can often be eliminated with the use of a mouth guard. Your dentist can custom make a mouth guard that comfortably fits over your teeth.
5. Adjustments to Diet
If your food choices are likely to be causing your tooth sensitivity, consider making some essential changes. This may mean eating fewer highly acidic foods that are known to dissolve tooth enamel.
Contact Hancock Village Dental Today!
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, don’t wait to get treatment. Contact your friendly local dentists at Hancock Village Dental at 352-989-5815 or send us a message online and a member of our staff will contact you shortly.