Tooth Sensitivity and What Causes It

checking an x-ray of teeth

If you experience dental discomfort when you take something hot or cold, you are most likely suffering from tooth sensitivity. The causes of sensitive teeth range from consumption of some types of foods to underlying dental issues.

As you book that dental appointment with your dentist, learning the causes can help you know what to avoid so you can reduce sensitivity. Casey Dentists discusses why your teeth might be too sensitive.

1. Teeth whiteners

Teeth whitening involves bleaching the teeth using a whitening product that normally contains hydrogen peroxide. When carried out by a registered dental professional, tooth whitening is a perfectly safe procedure. The problem comes in when you go to beauticians who have no proper training on how to carry out the procedure safely.

Excess usage of whitening products corrodes the enamel; therefore, causing tooth sensitivity. If your teeth have decay, broken filings or fractured structures, going for tooth whitening might cause sensitivity. This is worse if you go to a beauty salon where they may not be keen to notice minor decay.

2. Excessive plaque

Plaque is a biofilm that grows on the surface of the tooth. At first, the substance is sticky and colourless but as it builds up, it changes colour to pale yellow or brown. If you do not brush your teeth correctly and floss regularly, you will notice plaque forming on the front of your teeth along the gum line, behind the teeth or between the teeth.

Bacterial plaque is the number one cause of gum disease and dental decay. Your teeth become sensitive as decay erodes the tooth enamel. The best way to deal with plaque is by avoiding it in the first place. Practising proper daily dental care and visiting your dentist every six months will help you keep dental problems at bay. If you already have plaque build-up, your dentist will perform a cleaning procedure to get rid of it.

3. Acidic foods

Consuming too many acidic foods and drinks such as lemon juice, sports drinks, grapefruits and tomato sauce, among others, can cause tooth sensitivity. Acid erodes the tooth’s enamel and exposes the dentin; therefore, causing sensitivity. The remedy here is to balance the number of acidic foods you consume with alkaline ones.

Additionally, dentists advise people to rinse their mouth after ingesting something acidic, such as white wines and lemons. Instead of taking lemon juice directly, it is better to dissolve the juice in water and then drink the solution.

4. Teeth grinding

a woman feeling tooth pain

Most people clench their teeth occasionally during sleep. It is the regular grinding of the teeth that causes problems. Frequent teeth grinding may lead to damaged teeth, jaw disorders, headaches and other problems.

If you notice chewing from the inside of your cheek, worn tooth enamel or chipped and fractured teeth, it is likely you grind your teeth in your sleep. The aftermath of severe teeth grinding causes sensitivity. Your dentist will provide a remedy depending on what’s causing you to grind your teeth.

Failure to treat teeth sensitivity may have a lasting effect. Sensitivity can cause tooth decay, lead to gum infection and progress to other health problems. Once you notice that you are having this problem, it is best to consult your dentist so that you can find the cause and the solution.

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