If you always feel a sharp pain followed by a mild ache around your teeth; especially when you consume hot or cold food, chances are you have sensitive teeth. And it is not peculiar to you. Tooth sensitivity is a common health condition associated with about 1 in every 8 adults. Apart from being a common condition, there are other things you should know about teeth sensitivity:
Can Be Caused By Hard Brushing: If you often brush your teeth with too much force or you use a hard-bristled toothbrush, you may develop a sensitive tooth. This is because, over time, the protective layers of your teeth will wear down, leaving your teeth canals exposed. Once your tooth canals are exposed, contact with acidic foods or exposure to very hot or very cold foods can lead to discomfort. To prevent this, always go for toothbrushes with soft bristles and exert lesser force when brushing your teeth. If you are already having the condition, avoid acidic foods like lemon, kiwi, pickles, grapefruit, and even tomato sauce.
Can Be Caused by Habit: tooth-grinding can lead to a sensitive tooth. The enamel may be the strongest substance in the human body but regular grinding of the teeth wears it down. This can expose the middle layers of your teeth which in turn leaves the nerves vulnerable to extreme temperatures. If you are a tooth-grinder, stopping this habit can help you maintain good oral health. If you find it hard to quit, your dentist can recommend a mouth guard or have a custom mouth guard made for you.
Can Be Caused By Toothpaste, Tooth-whiteners, and Mouthwashes: Some kinds of toothpaste, tooth-whiteners, and mouthwashes contain chemicals and alcohol which can cause sharp pains for some people with already exposed dentin. If you find out that toothpaste contains whitening agents or that your mouthwash contains alcohol, you may consider switching to another brand. You can also switch to neutral fluoride rinses or stick to regular flushing and brushing.
Cracked Tooth or Weakened Filings Increases Risk: Chipped or cracked teeth (or tooth) is another cause of sensitivity. In the same vein, weakened filings or leakage around the edges of filings can lead to the accumulation of bacteria in the cervice. This can cause breakdown of the enamel, thus, exposing the inner layers of the teeth. If you find out that you have a chipped tooth or weakened filings, be sure to contact your dentist immediately. While filings are easily replaceable, a cracked tooth may require other forms of treatment such as extraction.
Plaque Build Up and Gum Disease Can Lead to Teeth Sensitivity: Excessive plaque buildup can weaken the structures surrounding your enamel. This exposes your teeth to diseases like gingivitis, or periodontal gum disease and such diseases are often associated with sensitive teeth. Practicing good oral hygiene and routine checkup can help you to avoid these problems. Some gum diseases such as receding gum may also be caused by old age and can be managed by a regular visit to a dental clinic.
Is Teeth Sensitivity Treatable?
Yes, teeth sensitivity is treatable if you are already having the condition. Your doctor can recommend practices and a particular toothpaste to help you overcome the condition.
However, some tooth sensitivity is more severe and may require diagnosis and more serious medical solution. Should that be the case, a visit to your dentist will help you find a lasting cure to the problem.