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What is Causing Your Sensitive Teeth?

Posted on 10/23/2015 by Brandon Cooley
A woman suffering from a toothache.Does the thought of sipping from a piping hot cup of coffee or biting into an ice cream cone make you cringe? Like many people, you may be suffering from sensitive teeth. While there are a variety of treatment options out there that can help you to reduce your sensitivity, it can be beneficial to first identify the cause of your problem so that you can eliminate it.

You're Using Tooth Whitening Toothpaste

Tooth whitening toothpaste is a great way to get a whiter smile at an affordable price, but like most whitening products, it can cause tooth sensitivity. Not everyone will react the same way to the tooth whitening chemicals found in toothpaste, as some people will be more sensitive than others. If you think that your toothpaste could be causing your sensitivity, switch brands, and talk to your dentist about other ways to whiten that might not have the same effect.

You're a Teeth Grinder

Has your significant other told you that you grind your teeth in your sleep, or have you noticed changes to the surfaces of your teeth? You could be a nighttime grinder, and this could lead to problems with sensitivity. When you grind the teeth, you will expose the middle layer known as the dentin, and this area contains the tubules that will lead to the nerves. Your dentist can help you to create a custom mouth guard that will reduce the effects of your grinding.

You're Brushing too Hard

While it is important to brush efficiently, this doesn't mean that you should be brushing really hard. In fact, brushing with excessive force could wear down the protective enamel layer of your teeth, exposing canals that lead to the nerves. When these tubes are unprotected, hot, cold, and acidic foods can cause sensitivity and discomfort. The best solution is to switch to a toothbrush with softer bristles or to simply alter your brushing technique.

You've Got too much Plaque

You need to maintain a good oral hygiene routine to prevent plaque buildup. When excessive amounts of plaque are allowed to accumulate onto the teeth, your teeth could lose enamel and become more sensitive. Make sure that you are also seeing your dentist every six months to have the plaque and tartar removed periodically.

You Have Periodontal Disease

One of the most common symptoms of gum disease is receding gums, and it occurs more frequently as you age. When the gums pull away from the teeth, more of the teeth will be exposed, and it result in tooth sensitivity. If periodontal disease is the root cause of your sensitive teeth, a sealant may be needed, and you'll also need to take steps to treat the gum disease itself.

You've Got a Crack in Your Teeth

If your teeth have chips or cracks, you can experience sensitivity. These are big issues that need to be corrected to prevent future pain and more advanced procedures. Your dentist will need to evaluate your teeth and determine what treatment option is best for you, including putting on a crown or extracting the tooth completely.

You Use too much Mouthwash

Just like whitening products, mouth rinses and washes contain chemicals that could increase the sensitivity of your teeth, such as alcohol. If your dentin is already exposed, this will make the problem even worse. To make this less of an issue, skip the mouthwash and instead, work hard to make sure you are maintaining a solid dental hygiene routine of brushing and flossing.

Do you have questions about what is causing your tooth sensitivity or what you can do about it? Contact our office to set up an appointment.
As a patient, three things stand out to me about Cooley Smiles - the great quality dental work, the cleanliness of the facility and thorough follow up. These are major differentiators that I look for in dental providers and to-date, I've always been satisfied with my experience. Thanks for the great patient care, Cooley Smiles team!

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