Sensitive teeth can have a major effect on your quality of life, but if your dentist can determine what is causing the condition, you may be able to get some relief. A number of different issues can increase tooth sensitivity. Here is an overview of some of the main ones.
- Gum recession – Receding gums expose the underlying tooth root, which is much more sensitive than the crown. Addressing the gum recession can reduce tooth sensitivity in such cases.
- Bruxism – Grinding your teeth can make them more sensitive. Unfortunately, many patients who grind their teeth are unaware of the problem, but your family dentist can examine the teeth for signs of bruxism and design a custom-crafted mouthguard to help to mitigate the effects of grinding your teeth.
- Cavities – Tooth decay can make your teeth more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures for example. In fact, sensitivity may be an early sign of a cavity, so it’s important to follow up with your dentist if you notice this.
- Acidic foods – Acidic foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits and sodas, can damage your enamel and increase tooth sensitivity. Limiting consumption of these items can be beneficial to some patients.
- Teeth whitening treatments – The systems that make your smile whiter and brighter can also make it more sensitive. Your dentist can give you guidance on whether to terminate a tooth whitening treatment if you develop trouble with sensitivity.
- Improper brushing technique – If you brush too hard, you can damage your enamel and your gum tissue, both of which may make your teeth more sensitive.
- Bad dental habits – When you engage in bad habits that could potentially damage your teeth (think chewing on ice cubes), you may be increasing your risk of developing sensitive teeth if the teeth do become chipped or cracked.
If you notice that your teeth have become more sensitive, schedule an appointment with our team at Inspire Dental Group for an exam and diagnosis. There are effective strategies for managing tooth sensitivity, and your dentist can recommend a technique that will address your specific problem.