Many people have sensitive teeth, which can be a real pain (literally!) trying to figure out what’s causing the problem. According to the American Dental Association, 40 million adults in the United States suffer from sensitive teeth. While there are several potential causes, this guide will explore five of the most common reasons for sensitive teeth. Hopefully, by the end of this post, you’ll better understand what might be causing your sharp teeth and what you can do about it.
You’re Brushing Too Hard
One of the most common reasons for sensitive teeth is that people brush their teeth too hard. While it’s important to brush thoroughly, using too much force can damage your tooth enamel and make your teeth more sensitive. If you’re not sure if you’re brushing too hard, take a look at your toothbrush bristles after you brush—if they’re frayed or worn down, that’s a good indication that you need to back off on the brushing pressure.
You Have Gum Recession
Gum recession is when your gums start to pull away from your teeth, exposing more of the root surface. This can happen for several reasons, including gum disease, brushing too hard, or genetics. If you have gum recession, your teeth may be more sensitive because the roots don’t have as protective enamel as the rest of your tooth surface.
You Have Tooth Decay
Tooth decay happens when acidic plaque buildup starts to eat away at your tooth enamel. This can cause pain and sensitivity because the inner layers of your tooth (the dentin) are exposed. If you think you might have tooth decay, it’s essential to see a dentist so they can treat the problem before it gets worse.
You Clench or Grind Your Teeth
Clenching or grinding your teeth (a condition known as bruxism) can stress your teeth and cause them to become sensitive. If you grind or clench your teeth at night, you might want to talk to your dentist about getting a mouth guard to protect your teeth while you sleep.
You’ve Had Teeth Whitening Treatment
If you’ve had professional teeth whitening treatment or used at-home bleaching kits, that could be why your teeth are feeling extra sensitive. The good news is that this type of sensitivity is usually only temporary and will go away once your tooth enamel has had a chance to re-harden (usually within a few days). In the meantime, there are some things you can do to help ease the discomfort, like using desensitizing toothpaste or rinsing with fluoride mouthwash.
There are several potential causes of sensitive teeth. However, if you want to prevent dental sensitivity, you also have a few options. Here are some of them.
Most people who experience dental sensitivity often get veneers. Robust porcelain veneers are an excellent solution for sensitive teeth as they are placed over the original teeth. Veneers are also ideal because of their longevity, and they can last for many years with the proper care.
Like veneers, crowns are also placed over your existing teeth. But unlike veneers that only cover the visible surfaces of your teeth, crowns extend over the entire tooth. Getting a dental crown is ideal if your tooth sensitivity is due to extensive tooth decay or fracture.
Tooth bonding is another excellent way to address sensitive teeth as it can help to fill in any gaps where your gums have receded. Using a tooth-colored resin, your dentist can bond the material to your teeth and then shape it to match your natural tooth.
Many desensitizing kinds of toothpaste on the market can help reduce or eliminate tooth sensitivity. These kinds of toothpaste block the pores in your teeth that lead to the nerves. You can find these toothpaste brands at most pharmacies or supermarkets.
Improved Dental Hygiene
Lastly, it’s always good to improve your dental hygiene. You should add some things to your hygiene to prevent dental sensitivity.
Oil pulling is an ancient Indian folk remedy used for centuries to treat various ailments, including sensitive teeth. You swish a tablespoon of coconut oil around your mouth for 20 minutes to do oil pulling. Then spit it out and rinse your mouth with water. The oil can coat your teeth and gums and help to reduce inflammation.
You can also help to prevent tooth sensitivity by following a cavity-prevention diet. This means eating more foods that are high in calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, and leafy green vegetables. It would help if you also avoid sugary drinks like soda, fruit juice, and sticky foods that can cling to your teeth and cause decay.
Sensitive teeth are one of the worse feelings. It can make your daily life difficult, from the cold air hitting your teeth to taking a sip of hot coffee. But by doing the above, you can help ease your discomfort and prevent sensitive teeth.