Potential Causes of Sensitive Teeth

Sometimes teeth are just touchy. But certain sensitivities are signs of trouble.

You feel it when you sip a hot drink or bite into a cool dessert: an ache, an acute stab of pain. Even a sharp breath of cold air might trigger a twinge. Any tooth sensitivity is trying to tell us something. .It may be easy to treat, but something is still causing it.

For dentists, the most common (and least alarming) sensitivity is an all-over reaction to very cold stimuli. Especially if that cold-induced pain is short-lived, you probably don’t have reason to worry. But if the pain is persistent and confined to a specific tooth or area of your mouth, that’s a problem. That’s often the sign of a micro-crack, a degraded filling or a cavity.

Those conditions, all of which require a dentist’s attention, become more probable if the tooth or area is also sensitive to heat and biting pressure.

If you have reactions to all three—cold, hot, and biting pressure—we could also be talking about some sort of infection in the tooth.

If you’re dealing with an all-over ache, your gums—not your teeth—may explain your pain. Exposing your gums to irritants or harsh treatment makes them recede. And when they do, they leave exposed the tender roots near the base of your teeth. Roots don’t have the same quality of protective enamel as your crowns, so they tend to be more sensitive.

Brushing too forcefully, chewing tobacco or allowing the buildup of plaque can all cause your gums to “run away” from your teeth, resulting in temperature sensitivity. If you think gum recession might be the cause of your sensitivity, you may be able to look in a mirror and spot the issue.

Of course, there are many more reasons for temperature-sensitive teeth. Those include the excessive use of mouthwash or whitening products, dead or dying nerves, tooth grinding, recent dental work or serious gum issues like gingivitis or periodontal disease. Eating and drinking lots of acidic foods like soda, sports drinks, sour candy or citrus fruits and juices can lead to a loss of tooth enamel that renders your teeth sensitive to temperature.

When it comes to brushing, apply gentle pressure with a soft-bristle toothbrush, you should not be scrubbing like you would tub grout. If changing your brushing technique doesn’t do the trick, switching to a sensitive-teeth toothpaste can help. These contain a chemical agent that fills tubules in teeth and blocks sensitivity.

No matter what, you should mention the temperature issue to your dentist during your next visit. The solutions are often simple, but only if we address the problem early.

Read the full article at: TIME

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