Tooth sensitivity is a relatively common oral health problem. It occurs when the enamel located on each of the teeth becomes thinner than normal. It could also occur when recession of the gums develops. This recession typically exposes the underlying surface of the teeth. This is referred to by dentists as the “dentin”. When this happens, it reduces the amount of protection of the actual tooth and the root of the tooth. When tooth sensitivity occurs, the symptoms of the condition are most often associated with the consumption of foods and beverages that are sweet or acidic, hot, or cold. In this brief guide, you will learn about the leading causes of tooth sensitivity.

The Basics
Each of the teeth in our mouth is composed of the substance known as “dentin”. This contains very small tubules that have a large concentration of nerve endings. The hard surface that protects the dentin in the tooth is called “enamel”. If the dentin loses that protective covering, sensitivity and discomfort will be experienced. According to dentists, the following outlines the most common causes of tooth sensitivity:

  • If you brush in an aggressive manner with a hard-bristled toothbrush, the tooth enamel will become worn and sensitivity may occur.
  • If you eat foods or drink beverages that contain a high level of acid, the erosion of the surface of the tooth may occur. This will result in discomfort and increased sensitivity.
  • Any situation that results in the decay of the teeth, fillings, or breaks the teeth and exposes the dentin region of the tooth will result in sensitivity.
  • Teeth grinding may cause tooth sensitivity.
  • When a dental procedure is performed, sensitivity may occur afterwards.
  • If gum recession is experienced, tooth sensitivity may develop.

Treating Tooth Sensitivity
In order to determine the best treatment for tooth sensitivity, you must work with your dentist to determine what the underlying cause of the condition is. You should contact the dentist and set up an appointment for an examination. While at the examination, you should expect to be questioned about the sensitivity that you have been experiencing. You may be asked about the foods that you eat, the beverages that you drink, and your oral hygiene habits. You may also be asked about any and all health issues in which you suffer.

The dentist will then attempt to treat the underlying cause of the sensitivity. You may also be instructed to use products that are designed to lessen the sensitivity. Your dentist may provide you with a special type of fluoride gel that is designed to strengthen the enamel of your teeth. This gel also aids in reducing the painful sensations that accompany sensitivity. Additionally, you may be encouraged to use special types of toothpastes and mouthwashes that help to alleviate the discomfort of tooth sensitivity. If you would like to see a professional that specializes in tooth sensitivity, you will be pleased to know that we here at Richmond Family Dentistry are highly trained in this issue. Simply call us today to set up your appointment: 765-962-3000