Tooth SensitivityThe loss of the protective layer of tooth enamel is the most common cause of sensitive teeth. This exposes the underlying layer known as dentin, which contains tiny nerve endings. When hot, cold, sweet, and acidic foods and beverages come into contact with the dentin, they can cause sharp, temporary pain or discomfort. Deterioration of the enamel also exposes the cementum layer that covers the root, which can lead to receding gums and sensitivity. A recent study published in the Journal of Dentistry found that 11–33 out of every 100 individuals may experience tooth sensitivity. This is a common issue many people face, and it can persist for a long time. In most cases, the pain subsides once the underlying cause no longer exists. However, a small percentage of patients do report persistent aching.
- The food you eat. Teeth are vulnerable to damage from food that are acidic and harsh. Juices, citrus fruits, and sports drinks can cause tooth sensitivity.
- Teeth grinding (bruxism). Tooth sensitivity and enamel wear can be caused by teeth grinding or clenching, particularly while sleeping.
- Ice chewing. The ADA advises against chewing ice because it can crack or grind your teeth. Hot, cold, or acidic substances can enter teeth through hairline cracks and stimulate nerves, which causes sensitivity.
- Hard brushing. Any abrasive technique can increase tooth sensitivity. Using a brush with hard bristles and brushing too forcefully are two habits that can aggravate tooth sensitivity.
- Recent dental work. Patients may experience temporary sensitivity after dental procedures. If it lasts longer than four weeks, tell your dentist.
- Cavity. Tooth sensitivity can result from even a tiny cavity eating away at enamel to reveal dentin. A filling or crown may help.
- Gum-related issues. Toothbrush abrasion, pocket reduction surgery, crown prep, excessive flossing, and gum disease can cause gum-related tooth sensitivity. Gums also recede with age, increasing sensitivity.
- Pregnancy. Pregnancy does not directly cause tooth sensitivity. However, hormonal changes can affect your gums, which causes pain or discomfort.
- Low temperatures. A sensitive twinge can be caused by cold air flowing over your teeth. A simple airbrush test might help your dentist determine your teeth’ sensitivity.
How to Treat Tooth Sensitivity
|Get a Desensitizing Toothpaste
|There are several brands to choose from. You can expect a reduction in sensitivity with consistent use. An extra tip: Before bed, use a finger or Q-tip to apply a thin layer of toothpaste to the exposed tooth roots.
|Use a Soft-bristled Toothbrush
|Avoid damaging your teeth and gums with abrasive toothbrush strokes. Harder bristles do not cause cleaner teeth.
|Use Dental Products with Fluoride
|Using a fluoridated mouth rinse daily can help reduce sensitivity. Inquire with your dentist about available home-care products.
|Keep Your Teeth and Gums Clean
|Brushing and flossing correctly will ensure that your teeth and gums are clean from top to bottom. Brush your teeth regularly and ensure routine dental cleanings.
|Keep an Eye on Your Diet
|Too much acid in the diet can wear down tooth enamel and expose dentin over time. They have the potential to trigger the pain reaction and increase sensitivity.
|Do Not Grind Your Teeth
|Wear a mouthguard when sleeping if you clench or grind your teeth.
Alternative Treatments: Home RemediesReducing tooth sensitivity is possible with a few common household items. Some examples are:
- A solution of salt and water for rinsing. Salt reduces inflammation. Gargle salt water twice a day to relieve sensitive tooth pain. You can swish the solution for 30 seconds.
- Dilute hydrogen peroxide in warm water. Peroxide can heal gums and reduce inflammation. Mix equal parts warm water and two caps of 3% hydrogen peroxide. The solution can be swished for 30 seconds. Rinse your mouth with water to remove the hydrogen peroxide excess.
- A cleaning with honey and warm water. Honey is antibacterial. It can reduce pain, swelling, inflammation and speed healing. Mouthwash with warm water and a spoonful of honey relieves sensitive teeth pain.
- Vanilla extract. For sensitive teeth, Brad Meinen, the author of Using Vanilla Extract for Toothache Relief, says to pour vanilla extract on a cotton ball. Use the cotton ball on your gums for a few minutes and repeat as needed.
- Turmeric rub. Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory curcumin. To relieve sensitive teeth pain and improve oral health, massage ground turmeric on the teeth. Try making a topical paste with 1 tsp turmeric, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp mustard oil.
- Rinse with green tea. Unsweetened green tea mouthwash twice a day strengthens and reduces inflammation in sensitive teeth.
- Capsaicin gel or mouthwash. Chilli peppers and other hot peppers contain capsaicin. Capsaicin reduces inflammation and pain in burning mouth syndrome. To soothe sensitive teeth, use capsaicin gel or mouth rinse. Although it burns, it reduces pain over time.
Dental Services or Procedures For Teeth Sensitivity
- Dental Bonding: A resin is spread to the exposed tooth structure to reduce sensitivity.
- Gum Grafting: Grafting tissue onto receded gums to alleviate sensitivity.
- Root Canal Therapy: Removal of damaged nerve tissue to address sensitivity.
- Crowns or Inlays: Covering sensitive teeth to protect them from further damage.
- Dental Sealants: Protective coatings on teeth to prevent sensitivity during chewing.
- Surgical Gum Graft: Surgical removal and attachment of tissue from the mouth’s roof for severe gum recession.
Ignoring Tooth Sensitivity: Potential Complications
- Extreme Trouble With Consuming Food or Fluids. Sensitivity can make eating or drinking difficult, requiring dietary restrictions or discomfort.
- Neglect on Your Dental Health. This may lead to cavities and more oral health issues.
- Effect on Well-Being. When your teeth always hurt, eating, drinking, and talking can be challenging. Thus, minimizing your quality of life.
- Dental Anxiety. People might avoid necessary dental services due to fear of experiencing increased pain during procedures.
- Potential Bigger Dental Problems. If left untreated, tooth sensitivity can become a gateway to more serious dental issues like cavities, gum disease, and tooth damage.
Eliminate Tooth Sensitivity TodayMaintaining oral health and quality of life requires treating tooth sensitivity. Ignoring it could cause bigger problems because it could indicate underlying issues. Although there are preventive measures to ease tooth sensitivity, seeing a great dentist for professional dental care is also important. Your search for the “best dentist near me” ends with Westgate Dental Centre. We offer comprehensive dental treatments, including family dentistry, cosmetic and general dentistry, and specialized services like dental implants. Our commitment to quality dental care ensures that all our patients receive the best possible solutions for their dental needs. A dental team in dental offices is dedicated to providing general dental services with a personalized touch. Schedule convenient appointments for specialized dental services today with our best dentists in Maple Ridge, British Columbia and experience the difference at Westgate Dental Centre.
Frequently Asked Questions
Persistent or severe tooth sensitivity may indicate a dental issue that needs professional treatment. It is advisable to go to a dental office as early as possible.
Yes, teeth whitening can cause temporary sensitivity. Following your dentist’s advice will help alleviate this sensitivity, which usually disappears after a few days.
Tooth sensitivity may indicate acid reflux, sinus infections, or vitamin deficiencies. Visit a dental clinic, like Westgate Dental Centre, to evaluate and treat persistent or unexplained tooth sensitivity properly.