Tooth sensitivity ranges from a mild, fleeting pang while brushing or flossing your teeth to excruciating pain when drinking an iced beverage or biting down on an ice cream bar. Sometimes, tooth sensitivity is a fleeting problem caused by a temporary condition, but it can also signal a serious problem. Here’s what you need to know:
What Causes Sensitive Teeth
Sensitive teeth have a variety of causes, but the main ones include brushing too hard, brushing with the wrong type of toothbrush, cracks in your tooth enamel, grinding your teeth while you sleep, cavities, infected tooth pulp, and gum disease. Some people experience temporary tooth sensitivity after a routine dental tooth cleaning procedure, after a tooth whitening session, or after experiencing minor dental trauma such as biting down too hard on a piece of candy. Fortunately, treatments exist designed to minimize or eliminate tooth sensitivity.
Treatments for Sensitive Teeth
The treatment for sensitive teeth will depend on the root cause of the problem. It may be as simple as changing your toothpaste, your toothbrush, or your manner of brushing. If appropriate, your dentist may apply an in-office treatment involving placing a protective layer over the affected teeth. Your dentist may also recommend applying a desensitizing agent or provide you with a list of over-the-counter products you can use at home. You may need a root canal for persistent pain that cannot be successfully treated any other way.
How to Prevent Sensitive Teeth
The best way to prevent tooth sensitivity is to always practice good oral hygiene. You should brush and floss at least twice per day without fail as well as use an antibacterial mouthwash. Wear a mouthguard when playing sports, and make sure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Consider using an oral irrigation system if flossing makes your gums bleed.
Because tooth sensitivity can be a sign of a dental health issue such as the onset of gum disease or an infection of the pulp in the interior of the tooth, you should always make an appointment with your dentist if unexplained tooth sensitivity doesn’t subside within a couple of days.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule an appointment or for more information on how to deal with tooth sensitivity or other dental health issues.