From pain when consuming hot and cold food and beverages to an inability to brush your teeth without discomfort, living with sensitive teeth can be challenging. In most cases, preventing this discomfort is possible with dental treatments, such as an application of fluoride or porcelain veneers, which restore and protect enamel. However, finding the cause of your sensitivity is helpful. Using this guide, you will learn a few common causes of tooth sensitivity.
Gum disease is a serious dental concern because it can lead to tooth loss and excessive pain. In most cases, gum disease also causes gum tissue to recede, exposing more of the actual tooth and its roots.
If you have gum disease that has resulted in gum recession, you will most likely experience tooth sensitivity. The decrease in actual gum tissue will expose the tooth and its root to air, food, and bacteria, which will cause irritation and discomfort.
Treating the gum disease with antibiotic medications and tooth scaling will be necessary. Your dentist may also recommend surgery to restore damaged and infected gum tissue.
An estimated 8 percent of adults clench their jaw and grind their teeth at night. Known as bruxism, this constant clenching and grinding place an enormous amount of stress on the teeth. Over time, bruxism can erode tooth enamel, which makes the teeth more susceptible to cavities and decay, but the loss of enamel will also make the teeth more sensitive.
If your dentist believes you have this disorder, finding the root cause of the grinding is essential. Most patients grind their teeth at night or during the day when they are experiencing stress, so counseling may be necessary to find healthier coping mechanisms.
Wearing a mouth guard at night is also effective for protecting the teeth from the stress of grinding and clenching of the jaw.
You may not think brushing could ever be bad for your teeth, but brushing too hard or using the wrong toothbrush can actually do more harm than good.
Using a brush with hard bristles will wear down the tooth enamel. Also, hard brushing with any toothbrush can scratch and scrape away the protective layer of enamel.
To reduce further sensitivity and protect your enamel, brush gently using a toothbrush with soft bristles.
Living with sensitive teeth is possible, but it can cause a great deal of discomfort. By learning a few common causes, you can prevent further tooth sensitivity. Contact a dentist, like Robert J Bauder DMD, for more help.