Crucial Facts You Should Know About Tooth Sensitivity

Jan 15, 2023

A. What Is Tooth Sensitivity?

It is a sharp ache or discomfort in one or more teeth experienced when temperatures change. It is also called dentin hypersensitivity. The condition is often triggered by taking cold or hot foods. However, the foods are not the cause of the sensitivity. Instead, they uncover a possible underlying oral problem that needs treatment.

Tooth sensitivity can be a temporary or a chronic problem. Depending on which one you have, the ways to treat and manage the condition differ.

B. What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

Tooth sensitivity can result from various factors. These factors influence the severity of the problem and dictate the treatment measures. The common causes of tooth sensitivity are:

  1. Enamel thinning – any factors that thin your enamel, including aging, can cause dentin hypersensitivity.
  2. Brushing your teeth too hard – could be because of using rough motions or a hard-bristled toothbrush.
  3. Bruxism – is excessive teeth grinding that usually happens at night. Although it is common for kids, it can affect adults too.
  4. Frequent consumption of acidic foods and drinks – if you are fond of oranges and lemon drinks, you risk having sensitive teeth.
  5. Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) – is a digestive condition that can cause acids in the stomach to come up in your mouth.
  6. Frequent vomiting – especially if you have underlying health problems that cause you to vomit often.
  7. Gum recession – is a symptom of gum disease. A bacterial infection in your gums causes them to pull back from your teeth, exposing tooth roots. Exposed tooth roots cause sensitivity.
  8. Dental decay – a tooth cavity damages your enamel, exposing the inner layers to infections. If you have a cavity, your teeth will be more sensitive than usual.
  9. Dental work – undergoing certain dental procedures can leave your teeth feeling sensitive temporarily. It is typical for treatments like teeth whitening, root canal therapy, routine cleanings, and tooth fillings.

C. How Do You Know You Have Tooth Sensitivity?

Often, you won’t need to visit a dentist in Phoenix to find out you have tooth sensitivity. The experience itself is proof that you have sensitive teeth. You will experience discomfort when exposed to various factors, including the following:

  1. Cold air
  2. Breathing through the mouth
  3. Acidic foods and drinks
  4. Hot foods
  5. Cold foods
  6. Teeth brushing or flossing
  7. Taking alcohol
  8. Using alcohol-based mouth rinses

D. Does Teeth Sensitivity Resolve on Its Own?

Tooth sensitivity is often a mild or moderate problem that resolves within a few days. The particular cause of the sensitivity can determine how quickly it resolves. For example, if your teeth are sensitive immediately after dental treatment, they should get better within a few days. Other chronic cases caused by factors like bruxism require advanced treatment measures.

E. How is Tooth Sensitivity Treated?

No treatment is similar for patients with tooth sensitivity in general dentistry. Instead, treatment is dependent on the underlying cause. Some approaches for treating and managing dentin hypersensitivity are:

  1. Changing the cleaning products – your dentist will recommend using toothpaste specially made for sensitive teeth. Further, opt for alcohol-free mouth rinses and soft-bristled toothbrushes.
  2. Acid reducers – are medication that helps overcome sensitivity resulting from GERD.
  3. Gum graft surgery – to restore receded gums, covering the exposed tooth roots.
  4. Restorative treatments – severe tooth sensitivity can be addressed using dental crowns. The crowns will replace the damaged enamel structure, protecting them from further damage.
  5. Changing your diet – you have to avoid acidic and spicy foods. Further, consume cool foods instead of cold or hot ones.
  6. Dental fillings – to treat dental cavities.
  7. Fluoride treatments – strengthen teeth enamels, heightening their resistance to bacteria and enamel-eroding acids.
  8. Wearing a night guard – to protect your teeth at night due to bruxism.

F. Can You Require Urgent Care for Tooth Sensitivity?

Hardly do patients require emergency dental care for tooth sensitivity. However, some symptoms can be alarming enough to need immediate dental care, including the following:

  1. Tooth discoloration
  2. Dental pain that worsens and progresses.
  3. Difficulty eating due to excessive pain
  4. A weak tooth that starts cracking or breaking
  5. Shaky teeth that threaten to fall off

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