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What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Do you find eating ice-cream or sipping on a cooling drink causes unwanted tooth sensitivity? It is a common problem, but you shouldn’t ignore it. When your teeth are sensitive, you may find eating hot and cold foods or anything that is very sweet, or sour is uncomfortable or even painful. Our Whitby dentist can examine your mouth and will diagnose the cause. Some of the reasons for tooth sensitivity include the following.

Recent Dental Work
If you have recently had a filling or a crown fitted, then it’s normal for your tooth to take a few days or even a week to settle down. However, poor or ageing dental work can also cause tooth sensitivity, for example, if a crown isn’t fitting properly or a filling is leaking. If the inner part of your tooth is exposed to the environment in your mouth, it can cause sensitivity.

A Recent Blow to the Mouth
Dental trauma is another possible reason, and especially if you love to play contact sports. A blow to the mouth can affect the tooth nerve, creating inflammation and sensitivity. Although the sensitivity may eventually reduce, it’s always important to see an emergency dentist in Ajax after any dental injury. At Margolian Dentistry, our dentists make every effort to see people with dental emergencies as soon as possible, and the sooner you seek treatment, the higher the likelihood of a good outcome. Ideally, if you do play sports, then it’s best to purchase a custom mouthguard from your dentist which will offer maximum protection against these types of accidents.

Over Bleaching or Incorrectly Bleaching Your Teeth
If you’ve recently used an over-the-counter tooth whitening kit or perhaps a kit you bought online, then there’s a possibility you could have over bleached your teeth or that the product was too strong. When misused, bleaching gel can cause tooth sensitivity, and especially if you leave it on your teeth too long or have any untreated dental diseases such as tooth decay or gum disease. It’s far safer and far more effective to have your teeth bleached professionally by your dentist, and treatment is often very affordable. Even if you don’t want to go down this route, make sure you visit your dentist for a check-up before using any tooth whitening products, as this will help to protect your dental health.

Gum Disease
It might seem odd that gum disease could cause tooth sensitivity, but when your gums are inflamed and infected, then they can begin to recede. Gum recession exposes your tooth roots which unlike your teeth aren’t protected with tooth enamel. Instead, they are covered with a softer substance called cementum and which can be quite easily brushed away, exposing the inner and more sensitive part of the tooth root.

Eating Too Many Acidic or Sugary Foods
If you like to eat quite a lot of sugary or acidic foods, then your tooth enamel could have become eroded, exposing the softer dentin underneath. Your dentin consists of lots of tightly packed hollow tubes that allow the sensations of hot, cold, sweet and sour to be transmitted right to the centre of your tooth, affecting the nerve.

Other possible causes of tooth sensitivity include brushing your teeth too hard, grinding your teeth or having a sinus infection. Even the weather can make a difference! Our Oshawa dentist will determine the cause, and we will recommend the most suitable and conservative solution, so that you can enjoy that ice-cream or cooling drink.


Jun 15, 2018 | Posted by
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