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An Overview of Tooth Sensitivity: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

An Overview of Tooth Sensitivity: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

by | Mar 30, 2023 | General Dental

Do you sometimes feel a sharp pain when eating or drinking something cold, hot, sweet, sour, or acidic? If you do, you may be experiencing tooth sensitivity.

Tooth sensitivity is the painful sensation caused by exposed dentin, a layer of the tooth under enamel and cementum that houses thousands of tiny nerve endings.

This can be caused by numerous factors including:

  • Gum recession
  • Cracked teeth
  • Worn fillings
  • Brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with hard bristles
  • Plaque buildup
  • Acidic foods and drinks
  • Aggressive tooth whitening treatments and
  • Even clenching or grinding teeth.

To avoid tooth sensitivity the most important thing to do is maintain good oral hygiene. Brush twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Floss at least once daily to remove any food particles lodged between the teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach. It’s also best to avoid acidic drinks, such as energy drinks, sodas and sports drinks.

Surprising Habits that Lead to Tooth Sensitivity

In some cases, certain everyday habits can lead to tooth sensitivity. Prolonged periods of clenching or grinding your teeth can wear away at the enamel of the tooth and expose the dentin layer. Additionally, over-exposure to acidic foods and drinks can also cause erosion of the enamel layer, leading to increased sensitivity.

When Should You See a Proactive Dental Professional?

If you’ve ruled out bad oral hygiene as a cause but still feel sensitive teeth, it’s best to see a dental professional for an evaluation. Your practitioner will diagnose the cause of your tooth sensitivity and then provide treatment options tailored to your individual needs.

Depending on what is causing your sensitivity symptoms, treatment may include:

  • Applying special toothpaste or gels
  • Special mouth rinses or topical treatments
  • Restorative treatments such as dental veneers, crowns and fillings to protect the exposed areas of the dentin.

Foods To Avoid If You Experience Tooth Sensitivity

If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, certain foods and drinks may trigger the pain. It’s best to avoid these items if possible:

  • Ice-cold or very hot beverages
  • Sweet candy or desserts
  • Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, and oranges
  • Pickles and other acidic dishes
  • Red wine
  • Sports drinks with high levels of sugar or acidity

By following Proactive Dental’s tips for preventing tooth sensitivity, you can reduce the symptoms associated with this uncomfortable condition.

Tips for Caring for Teeth Prone to Sensitivity

If you have sensitive teeth, Proactive Dental recommends the following tips to help decrease sensitivity and keep your mouth healthy:

  • Brush twice daily with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Softly brush in circular motions rather than back and forth.
  • Floss at least once per day to remove plaque buildup from between the teeth.
  • Avoid food and beverages that contain citric acid.
  • Chew sugarless gum to increase saliva production that helps wash away bacteria which can lead to sensitivity.
  • Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots and celery that help clean your teeth while you eat them.
  • Use dental products that are designed for sensitive teeth, such as Pro-Sensitive toothpaste and Pro-Sensitive mouthwash.

By following Proactive Dental’s tips for preventing tooth sensitivity, you can reduce the symptoms associated with this uncomfortable condition.

If you experience persistent tooth sensitivity, it’s best to visit Proactive Dental immediately because underlying conditions can be causing it. Examples of these include cavities, gum disease or worn fillings. Proactive Dental will perform X-rays and physical examinations to help determine the cause of your sensitive teeth so they can be treated effectively.

Proactive Dental is committed to helping you maintain strong, healthy teeth and provide relief from tooth sensitivity. If you’re experiencing sensitive teeth don’t hesitate to contact us today to receive treatment tailored to your individual needs. Proactive Dental is here to help you get the best dental care possible and make sure you have a healthy smile! Book an appointment today.