Have you noticed eating very hot or cold foods is a lot more painful or uncomfortable recently? If so, you’re not alone, and you may have sensitive teeth. It’s a problem that causes pain or discomfort when teeth are exposed to hot and cold stimuli. Some people find the problem is temporary, while for others, it can be chronic.
What Are the Symptoms of Tooth Sensitivity?
Most often, tooth sensitivity occurs when you eat or drink anything very hot or cold, but your teeth may twinge when you breathe in cold air or eat something very acidic. Sometimes even brushing or flossing your teeth or using an alcohol-based mouth rinse can cause sensitivity or pain.
Why Do Teeth Become Sensitive?
Some people have sensitive teeth because the tooth enamel is thinner. Your tooth enamel is the hard outer coating that protects the tooth, but there are various reasons why it can become worn.
One reason is brushing your teeth too hard or using a toothbrush with hard bristles. You don’t need to brush your teeth very hard to thoroughly clean them as it’s more about using the right technique. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush can wear down and damage your tooth enamel, and instead, choose a toothbrush with soft or medium bristles and don’t use too much pressure when cleaning your teeth.
Some people have a problem called bruxism, where they clench and grind their teeth at night. Tooth grinding can be extremely destructive, wearing away tooth enamel and even the teeth themselves, causing sensitivity and pain. If you have noticed you wake up with a sore, aching jaw or that your teeth look worn or chipped, it’s worth seeing a Whitby dentist. Also, teeth grinding is quite a noisy habit, so it’s quite possible a sleeping partner may have complained!
Your diet affects dental health tremendously, especially if you regularly eat and drink very acidic foods, especially between meals. Snacking frequently on sugary foods can have a similar effect because bacteria use the sugars for energy, and these bacteria create acid as a byproduct.
Gum recession can occur if you brush your teeth too hard or if you have signs of gum disease. As gums recede, they expose the tooth roots, which aren’t covered by tooth enamel and are more susceptible to sensitivity.
Some people find their teeth are temporarily sensitive after dental work or if they use tooth whitening products. Usually, these feelings should subside after a few days, but you should always contact your Ajax dentist if they don’t.
When to See a Dentist for Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity in Oshawa can affect one tooth, multiple teeth or all your teeth. Several different things can cause it, but if you are experiencing sensitive teeth for the first time, it’s best to come and see us here at Margolian Dentistry. We can check your teeth to make sure the problem isn’t due to an untreated cavity or a loose filling, or because of gum recession and can provide suitable treatments to restore teeth. If needed, we can order dental x-rays to rule out tooth decay. We can also discuss your tooth brushing and flossing routine to ensure you are brushing gently yet thoroughly.
If you only have mild tooth sensitivity and have no dental problems, you may be able to treat it using toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. These toothpaste have desensitizing ingredients that prevent the potentially uncomfortable sensations from reaching your tooth nerve. You usually need to use the toothpaste for a while as the effect is cumulative, but sensitivity should begin to decrease within a week.