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What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
If you feel pain when eating cold or hot foods, then you probably have sensitive teeth. According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), up to 40 million adults in the U.S. suffer from teeth sensitivity. In this article, you will learn more about some of the causes of tooth sensitivity.
Causes of sensitive teeth
Many factors are responsible for tooth sensitivity, and if you experience pain, it may be the result of any of the following reasons:
Brushing vigorously can wear down the enamel and hurt the gums. This may prompt the constant replacement of toothbrushes. It is vital that patients learn to adjust their brushing methods to save their teeth. Brushing too hard will damage the enamel and cause gum recession, which will expose soft tissues or roots of the tooth. Over time this can also cause pain.
Gum recession means the gums are shrinking away from the teeth, this exposes the dentin tubules which connect to the sensitive nerves in the tooth pulp. Receding gums do not occur due to aggressive brushing alone; the advanced form of gum diseases can cause the gums to deteriorate. Patients need to consult their dentist to get an accurate diagnosis and ensure that the recession is not the result of a more severe dental condition that requires prompt treatment.
Patients who continuously feast on sour or acidic foods and drinks may be wearing down their tooth enamel. It is essential that they monitor their consumption of highly acidic foods such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, pickled products, and acidic drinks such as sports drinks, wine, orange juice, coffee, and carbonated sodas.
Consuming sugary treats such as candies, cake, and ice cream can encourage bacteria growth. The acids produced by bacteria when they mix with sugary remnants can dissolve the enamel. It also leads to tooth decay, which is a significant cause of sensitive teeth.
Cracked or chipped teeth
If the tooth is chipped or cracked, the inner pulp layer may be exposed. Any contact with a hot or cold substance will certainly cause unbearable pain or sensitivity.
Treating sensitive teeth
Patients must consult their dentist if they are suffering from teeth sensitivity. The dentist will want to know the symptoms, when the pain started, and measures that provide relief. Once the dentist detects the cause of the sensitive teeth, they will provide treatment for the underlying cause.
Treatment may be as easy as filling a cavity or replacing a damaged tooth through a restoration. If the pain stems from gum recession, the dentist may recommend a gum graft procedure to protect the root surfaces and support the tooth.
Several desensitizing products are also available to block the nerve endings of exposed dentin. If the enamel has been worn down, in-office fluoride gel can help strengthen and remineralize the enamel to reduce sensitivity.
The cause of sensitive teeth varies depending on each person but ultimately, it can be determined with the help of the dentist. Therefore, if you have been coping with painful sensations that prevents you from eating your favorite food, you need to book an appointment with the dentist immediately.
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