Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

If you experience sharp pain when sipping coffee or some cold beverage, or brushing and flossing becomes painful for you, this may be the sign of a common problem called “tooth sensitivity”.

According to the study of Academy of General Dentistry, nearly 45 million Americans experience tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity is caused by gradual exposure of the softer part of the tooth called dentine.

When the dentine loses its protective layer, your tooth becomes sensitive to hot, cold, and acidic foods as they arouse the nerves and cells inside the tooth. This stimulation may cause hypersensitivity and pain when you chew, drink, or breathe through your mouth.

If you wonder why you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, the causes discussed here can get you the answer.

Brushing Too Hard

Sometimes, brushing with too much force, more frequently, or using hard-bristled brush can wear down your tooth enamel resulting in tooth sensitivity. Brushing your teeth in a wrong way can also lead to gum recession that may add to your dental problem.

The solution to the brushing problem lies in switching to a soft-bristled brush and being gentler when brushing.

Cracked Tooth

A crack, running from the upper surface down towards the root, can cause hypersensitivity and discomfort to your teeth. Your dentist may suggest a course of treatment after evaluating your teeth.

toothache cracked tooth
Cracked silver filling causing Sensitivity and toothache

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding involves clenching and grinding the teeth together. This habit may recede the protective covering of enamel and make your teeth sensitive. The possible way to get rid of this habit is to consult your dentist and get a mouth-guard to be worn at night.

Receding Gums

Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue surrounding your tooth pulls back, exposing the roots of the tooth. Roots do not have protective covering which make them vulnerable to sensitivity.

Gums usually recede due to vigorous brushing habit, insufficient dental care, or periodontal disease. If you think your gums are receding, you should visit your dental care practitioner who can repair your gums and can prevent further damage.

Gum Disease
receding gums due to gingivitis and periodontal disease causing pain and sensitivity

Dental Treatment

If you are undergoing some dental treatment like orthodontics, tooth restoration like root canal, teeth whitening, or have had tooth extraction, you may have teeth sensitivity.

Dental treatment can make your teeth sensitive for a short period of time. If your sensitivity does not go after some time, you should visit your dentists as it might be an indication of infection.

It is best to visit your dentist to discuss your sensitivity problem in order to determine the underlying cause. Your dentist can identify the correct location of sensitivity and suggest the best course of action.

Generally, your tooth sensitivity can be resolved using toothpastes that are designed especially for sensitive teeth. There are many brands available in the market that can help to cure your problem.

If your sensitivity is extreme and lasts longer, you should visit your dentist to seek clinical solution. He or she may apply fluoride gel to strengthen the tooth enamel and reduce the sensation.

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