Do you sometimes feel pain in your teeth when you are enjoying an ice cream? You’re not alone! One of the most frequent complaints of patients when they visit the dentist is tooth sensitivity. What’s more, one in 8 adults suffers from tooth sensitivity on a regular basis. There are a number of factors that can cause the teeth to become sensitive. Find out about the 6 key points that have to do with the causes, symptoms and how you can prevent symptoms of tooth sensitivity.
Remember that here at Parkwood Green Dental you will find a team of expert professionals willing to help you and ensure you feel well.
- What causes tooth sensitivity?
In general, the sensitivity in all teeth or at least most of them, is due to the enamel weakening or the exposure of the roots of the teeth. If the sensitivity comes from a specific tooth, this may mean that the tooth has a crack, fracture or tooth erosion. Dental sensitivity can also lead to a treatment such as a crown or fillings, or a restoration that becomes fragmented, loosened or lost.
The most common cause for which people suffer from tooth sensitivity is the disease of the gums or retracted gums, both leave the surface of the root exposed. Furthermore, activities such as brushing the teeth aggressively or eating acidic foods can weaken the enamel and cause sensitivity. The grinding of the teeth (bruxism) also wears the surface of the tooth and enamel. Teeth whitening is another common cause of sensitivity as the whitening product can affect the dentin of the tooth and cause the recession of the gums.
- Why do teeth suddenly become sensitive?
There are several causes why the teeth become sensitive “suddenly”, beginning by understanding if the sensitivity is arising from a tooth or several. When sensibility appears out of nowhere, the point of origin defines the cause and treatment for this type of sensation.
Professional or commercial teeth whitening procedures are one of the main causes of tooth sensitivity. A lost or fragmented filling or crown can cause instantaneous tooth sensitivity. The level of sensitivity that appears suddenly can also be caused by stress or the clenching or grinding of the teeth. The pressure caused by sinusitis has also been linked to tooth sensitivity. Also, changes in diet, for example, drinking more soda or coffee for a period of time, can affect tooth enamel.
- Dental sensitivity to hot or cold
Often the teeth will feel normal until you get to eat or drink something hot or cold, during which you will feel a painful or throbbing sensation through the teeth. Sensitivity to both cold and hot temperatures is common and can occur when the tooth enamel becomes thin so that the dentin inside the tooth ends up being exposed. A loose filling or crown can also create tooth sensitivity. The use of a gel for tooth sensitivity or other special products can alleviate this sensation.
- How to whiten sensitive teeth?
Is it possible to whiten sensitive teeth? Yes, but very carefully. Bleaching products can cause temporary sensitivity in the teeth. Applying a gel for sensitive teeth can help relieve discomfort. While you are using bleaching products avoid sugary, acidic or coloured foods and drinks as the enamel is in a state of risk. Furthermore, always follow the proper instructions while using any bleach product at home and make sure you do not overuse the use of products that do not require a prescription. Consult your dentist in your next visit and ask him about the use of bleaching products, he can create a whitening tray to suit you or he can recommend a whitening product that is not so abrasive and that goes according to your oral hygiene.
- Sensitive teeth and brackets
Many people who use braces may feel sensitivity or discomfort after the dentist adjusts braces, however, this feeling should disappear after a few days. Continuous pain or sensitivity while using braces can be a sign that you are not brushing your teeth properly. The brackets can cause thinning of the enamel or the edge of the gums when you are not brushing carefully around them and in particular, the posterior molars. Other signs that you are not brushing well include bad breath, bleeding gums or an unexplained toothache. Check with your orthodontist if you feel sensitivity or other symptoms that continue after a few days.
- How to treat sensitive teeth
Diagnosing the cause is the only way to treat the symptoms properly. Your dentist will help you determine the cause of the sensitivity through an exam and x-rays. If you are experiencing sensitivity to a problem on the surface of the teeth, for example, consuming excessive acidic foods and drinks or using bleaching products, you may be advised to stop doing it little by little.
The treatment to avoid clenching and grinding of the teeth may vary. Consuming high levels of caffeine can cause contraction and cracking, so your dentist may advise you to reduce your stimulant intake. Techniques to manage stress, for example, breathing, therapies, yoga or meditation can help alleviate physical manifestations of stress (such as teeth grinding). Wearing a mouth guard at night can help reduce the impact and protect the surface of teeth from grinding.
To treat the symptoms of gum disease or receding gums first it is necessary to eliminate any infection in the gums. A deep dental cleaning, consisting of scaling and root planning, eliminates the accumulation of dental plaque and tartar around the edge of the gums. In severe cases of infection, the dentist may also prescribe antibiotics. Gum grafting is a procedure that replaces the loss of gum tissue, as this tissue will not regenerate naturally once it has been lost.
There are numerous mouthwashes and toothpastes that do not need a prescription and others with a prescription, which relieve the teeth whitening sensation.
Bear in mind that the lack of proper hygiene can cause tooth erosion and increase the risk of decay, gingivitis and even periodontal disease that translate to sensitivity. For this reason, professional dentists from Parkwood Green Dental are the most efficient option