Sensitive teeth is a common problem that many people face, sometimes without even realizing it. Sensitivity is marked by discomfort of the teeth, especially when in contact with hot and cold foods. It’s often a result of weakness in the enamel, which can be caused by a variety of factors.
Below we’ll take a look at common causes of tooth sensitivity, types which are both expected and unintended. With more information at your disposal, you’ll be able to recognize tooth sensitivity and whether it’s the result of something temporary or something that should be examined by a dental professional.
Some people may experience sensitivity after dental work, which is typically something that shouldn’t concern patients. This sensitivity can occur after routine cleanings, root planings, crown replacements and other procedures. Sensitivity can persist for anywhere up to four to six weeks and normally subsides. If sensitivity following a dental procedure persists after four to six weeks, you’ll want to consult your dentist to determine the cause of the discomfort.
Eating And Digestive Disorders
Certain conditions, like bulimia and acid reflux, can actually wear away the enamel in the teeth and lead to sensitivity. Vomiting associated with bulimia nervosa wear away the enamel due to the potency of stomach acid. Gastroesophageal reflux can have a similar effect, as acid the reaches the mouth can erode the enamel as well, leading to sensitivity.
Brushing Too Hard
Brushing your teeth harder won’t make your teeth cleaner. In fact, it can actually have a damaging effect on your teeth, as brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can wear away your enamel.
Cavities and other types of tooth decay can erode your enamel and provide areas where your teeth are more susceptible to hot and cold foods and beverages. Cavities and decay are weak points in your enamel and provide openings discomfort and sensitivity.
Gums naturally pull away from the teeth as people age. When the gum line begins to recede and shrink, it exposes roots which are not protected by enamel. This exposure leaves teeth susceptible to sensitivity due to the absence of enamel.
Any sort of trauma to your teeth can result in heightened sensitivity. Minor injuries that occur from accidents can cause cracks in the enamel which leads to sensitivity. Cracked teeth can also lead to sensitivity, allowing bacteria to penetrate the crack and lead to inflammation in the pulp of the tooth. Even something that seems small — like grinding or clenching your teeth — can have serious ramifications and lead to increased sensitivity.
The Final Word
Sensitivity can result from a number of different factors, making it extremely important that proper dental health habits are followed. Brushing twice a day, flossing regularly and routine trips to the dentist can help prevent sensitivity by ensuring your teeth are in the best of health!