There are a number of reasons that can cause tooth sensitivity.
If you experience dental discomfort when drinking cold beverages or while brushing or flossing, you could be suffering from tooth sensitivity. While you may be willing to give up cold drinks, not brushing or flossing should never be an option.
There are some things that you can do to lessen the pain. Here is a list of what could be causing your problem:
- Grinding your teeth. You’ve probably heard about the importance of tooth enamel. Grinding your teeth can wear down tooth enamel and expose the middle layer of your tooth (the dentin). This can lead to irritating the tooth nerves. Wearing a nighttime bite guard can help with grinding. Talk with your dental professional about finding a bite guard. Custom-made bite guards work the best.
- Brushing your teeth too hard. Like grinding your teeth can wear away your tooth enamel, over time, brushing your teeth too hard can also lead to irritated tooth nerves. The easiest fix is to use a brush with softer bristles and be gentler while brushing your pearly whites.
- Acidic foods. If you are suffering from some loss of tooth enamel, then eating acidic foods can lead to tooth discomfort. Foods like lemons, grapefruits & oranges are acidic. However, so are tomato products (tomato & pasta sauce, ketchup, and salsa), coffee, wine, and pickles are some others. Avoiding these foods may help.
- Tooth-whitening toothpaste. Many tooth-whitening toothpastes contain chemicals that can cause sensitivity in some people. Consider a different type of toothpaste.
- Mouthwash. Like some tooth-whitening pastes, some mouthwashes contain chemicals, not to mention alcohol, that can cause irritation if your if your enamel is wearing down (and exposing your tooth’s dentin). Again, consider a different type of mouthwash.
- Gum disease. Receding gums can cause tooth sensitivity. Especially as we get older, our gums are more susceptible to receding. If you’re suffering from gum disease or gingivitis, work with your dental professional to come up with a treatment plan.
- Cracked tooth. Sometimes the first sign of a cracked tooth is sensitivity. Often, that sensitivity turns into *pain*. See your dental professional for an evaluation!
- Recent dental procedure. It’s very common to experience some tooth sensitivity after the placement of a crown or having a root canal. If this discomfort does not go away after a short amount of time, see your dental professional to make sure it is not a sign of infection.
Tooth sensitivity is usually easily treatable. Simply using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth can help much of the time. But not every time for every person.
If your tooth sensitivity does not reduced or eliminated by following one or more of the suggestions above, or if it becomes more severe, then it is time to see your dental professional.
To make an appointment with Dr. Matthew Schacht here at Denver Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, please contact our Denver, Colorado office.