Tooth sensitivity is a painful dental condition that prevents a person from enjoying cold foods and hot beverages. The discomfort caused by a sensitive tooth is due to thinning of the enamel or receding of the gums. These issues result in the exposure of dentin, the second layer of the tooth (containing tubules filled with tiny nerve endings).
To effectively treat tooth sensitivity, understand the main causes behind this painful condition:
1. Brushing Too Hard – Brushing your teeth is essential to keep them clean. However, brushing with too much gusto can wear down the protective layer of teeth. To prevent enamel erosion, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush in firm, circular strokes.
2. Acidic Foods and Drinks – Eating citrus foods and drinking sharp-tasting beverages are also contributing factors to enamel erosion, which can irritate the exposed nerve endings of the dentin. Limit your consumption of acidic foods and beverages, or drink a glass of water afterward to rinse the acid from your mouth. Use a straw when drinking soda to avoid direct contact with the teeth.
3. Sugary Diet – While eating sweet and sugary foods does not have an immediate effect on enamel erosion, it increases the growth of bacteria in the mouth. With time, these bacteria eat away the enamel and cause gum recession.
4. Whitening Toothpaste – Most whitening toothpaste formulas contain harsh chemicals used to lighten and remove teeth stains. These whitening agents can eventually thin enamel and increase tooth sensitivity.
5. Grinding of Teeth – Bruxism is the habit of grinding the teeth while sleeping. While tooth enamel is the strongest substance of the body, a prolonged tooth grinding habit can eventually wear it down, leaving the sensitive dentin exposed.
6. Plaque Buildup – Plaque not only causes tooth decay and gum disease, it also contributes to tooth sensitivity. When plaque begins to build, the resulting bacteria eat away the protective layer on teeth. To prevent plaque buildup, practice good dental hygiene by brushing twice daily and flossing your teeth.
7. Chipped or Cracked Tooth – A damaged tooth is susceptible to pain and sensitivity. You may have healthy tooth enamel, but once it becomes cracked or chipped, it leaves the nerve endings of the dentin exposed.
Tooth sensitivity is treatable. If it becomes extreme or persistent, visit a trusted and reliable dentist for a checkup to determine the main cause of tooth sensitivity and for effective solutions to your dental problem.
Call Simcoe Smile Dental at (289) 312-1482 to book a dentist appointment in Oshawa. Our caring staff of dental professionals takes pride in providing personal care to help achieve optimal dental health for you and the whole family.