You may have heard people complaining about toothaches whenever they have something too hot or cold. Perhaps you have also experienced this at some point in time. Sensitive teeth are a very common dental problem, in which people feel pain and discomfort when they consume something too hot, sweet, or cold. The severity may vary from a mild tingle to several hours of lasting pain. The sooner you visit your dentist the better.
What Causes the Tooth to Become Sensitive?
Usually, this happens due to the exposure of the dentin layer under the enamel. This is where the gums and teeth meet. The enamel naturally is thinner, and when exposed can cause a lot of problems. Sensitive teeth are a warning sign that there are more serious dental problems taking place.
Who is More Likely to Suffer from Sensitive Teeth?
Anyone can suffer from this problem, at any stage in life. Sensitive teeth can start anytime between the ages of twenty and forty. According to some observations, it tends to affect more women than men.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
Acid erosion, over-brushing the teeth, and receding gums are the most probable causes of sensitive teeth. Also, cracked teeth, teeth with filling, and when the enamel wears off due to grinding of the teeth, it causes sensitivity. In some cases, the overuse of teeth whitening treatment also causes sensitive teeth.
What is Over-brushing?
This is when one brushes too hard side-to-side, causing damage to the gums and enamel. It can happen when one over-aggressively brushes the teeth, even with a normal brush or electronic toothbrush.
What Causes Acid Erosion of the Teeth?
There are acids in most drinks and foods that we consume, such as vinegar, squash, fruit juices, grapes, resins, fizzy drinks, wine, etc. These acids eventually weaken the enamel due to acid erosion that happens over a period of time.
Causes of Receding Gums?
The gums can shrink due to many reasons, and one major reason is aging. Over-brushing also causes receding gums and gum diseases. The build-up of plaque and tartar also cause receding gums. When this happens, there are tiny holes or tubules in the roots of the teeth, which make the gums and teeth sensitive, exposing the enamel.
What to Do to Fix Sensitive Teeth Problems?
The best course of treatment is to consult the dentist near you. You will find at least one reputable dental practice in your locality. Having a dental consultation will help rule out any possibilities of a much severe underlying dental problem. And if there is a more severe problem, at least you will get treatment in time to manage and probably fix the sensitive teeth problem.
Often, dentists will recommend using specifically formulated toothpaste, twice a day to help reduce the sensitivity. These may help fill the tubules and block off the nerves. You can rub the toothpaste in the sensitive areas to harden the enamel over time. They would likely ask you to cut down on certain foods that may be harming your teeth, e.g. fruit juices, fruits, and specific foods.
They may recommend using an electric brush to brush your teeth because studies and experiments prove that they are more effective than manual brushes. They clean better and are safer to use than using a hard brush that can hurt the gums. All you have to do is glide the electric brush across the surface of the teeth, without pressing it against the teeth, as you have to do with a manual brush.
Your teeth may become sensitive again when you stop using the sensitive toothpaste, or if you resume over brushing your teeth again. If your teeth remain sensitive after several weeks of treatment, even after changing your toothpaste and managing your brushing habits, then visit your dentist. There may be some other underlying cause like a cavity that needs attention. As always, go to a dental practice you trust.