Sensitive Teeth – Causes and Treatments

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Young woman with hypersensitive teeth eating ice lolly, isolated on white background.

Do you experience a tingling sensation whenever you eat ice cream? Or do you feel pain whenever you take a sip of hot coffee? Then you may have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity is one of the most usual problems among dental patients. People suffering from this condition are mostly adults, although it can also affect people in their adolescence and when they are over 50 years old.

Symptoms of sensitive teeth can be a mild sharp pain to severe discomfort that can continue for hours. It can also be an indication of a more serious dental problem. However, it can be treated.

Identifying the cause of the illness can help you fight off the pain. Here are some of them:

  • Toothpaste

Some toothpastes contain whitening formulas and chemicals which can cause sensitive teeth.

  • Brushing too hard

Toothbrush abrasion diminishes the layer of enamel on the teeth and damages your gums, exposing the dentine. When the dentine loses its protective coat, it allows heat and cold or acidic substances to stimulate the nerves and cells inside the teeth causing hypersensitivity and discomfort.

  • Teeth grinding

Grinding and clenching your teeth too often can cause the enamel to wear down which then exposes the dentine. It also fractures your teeth causing pain.

  • Too much mouthwash

Mouthwash helps manage bacteria inside the mouth, but too much can also cause negative effects. Like some whitening toothpastes, some mouthwashes contain chemicals that can make your teeth more sensitive.

  • Cracked tooth

A chipped or broken tooth can irritate the nerves in your teeth, causing discomfort when you chew your food.

  • Gum Diseases

Periodontal diseases, if left untreated, can create holes in your teeth where bacteria flourish and destroy the tissues and bones, leaving the root of the teeth exposed.

  • Dental Procedures
    If you have undergone a tooth cleaning or extraction, then it is likely the reason why you are having sensitive teeth. If symptoms persist, go to your dentist and have it checked, for it may be an inflammation or an infection.

Once you’ve figured out the causes of the sensitivity, it is time to get it treated. Here are some of your options:

  • Visit your dentist

Regular dental checkups are important so that tooth decay, periodontal diseases and other problems may be prevented and treated in the early stages.

Don’t worry since there are a lot of people who can aid you. For instance, if you are living in the northern part of South Africa, look for Pretoria dentists who can help you with your teeth sensitivity and other dental problems.

  • Follow proper oral care

Brush your teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, and make sure to include the roof, tongue, cheeks and gums when brushing. Do it gently and slowly though to minimise or even avoid symptoms. Do floss and rinse your mouth with clean water if you have less time for brushing.

  • Take note of what you drink and eat.

Eating too much food high in acid content like citrus fruits and tomatoes can gradually remove enamel over time. They might look and taste healthy, but too much of them isn’t good for your teeth. Also, limit your intake of carbonated drinks and alcohol. Drink milk, which has calcium and water instead.

By knowing the reasons behind your sensitive teeth, you can now avoid the inconvenience that they bring. Always remember: A healthy mouth is a healthy body.