Dealing With Dental Sensitivity: What To Know

Posted on: 30 June 2023

Tooth sensitivity occurs when the underlying dentin layer of the tooth becomes exposed, leading to discomfort or pain when the tooth encounters certain stimuli. Many issues can lead to tooth sensitivity:

  • Tooth enamel erosion: Enamel erosion occurs due to factors such as acidic foods and drinks, aggressive brushing, or teeth grinding. When the protective enamel layer wears away, it exposes the underlying dentin and increases tooth sensitivity.
  • Gum recession: Gum recession can expose the sensitive root surfaces of the teeth. This can happen due to gum disease, vigorous brushing, or other factors that cause the gums to recede, leaving the tooth roots vulnerable to sensitivity.
  • Tooth decay or cavities: Cavities can lead to tooth sensitivity, especially when they reach deeper layers of the tooth, such as the dentin or pulp. Decay can cause inflammation and irritation, resulting in sensitivity.
  • Cracked or fractured teeth: Cracks or fractures in teeth can expose the sensitive dentin and cause sensitivity, especially when biting or chewing.
  • Dental procedures: Some dental treatments, such as teeth whitening, dental fillings, or crown placement, may cause temporary sensitivity. This sensitivity typically resolves on its own after a short period.

To alleviate tooth sensitivity, you can try the following:

  1. Use desensitizing toothpaste: Specialized toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can help alleviate discomfort. These toothpastes typically contain compounds that block nerve signals and create a protective barrier over the exposed dentin.
  2. Maintain good oral hygiene: Proper oral hygiene practices, such as gentle brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, can help prevent further enamel erosion and reduce sensitivity. Avoid aggressive brushing or using a hard-bristled toothbrush.
  3. Avoid acidic foods and drinks: Limit or avoid consuming acidic foods and beverages, including citrus fruits, carbonated drinks, and acidic juices. If consumed, rinse your mouth with water afterward to minimize the exposure of teeth to acid.
  4. Wear a mouthguard: If teeth grinding or clenching is causing sensitivity, wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard can help protect the teeth from further damage and reduce sensitivity.
  5. Address gum disease or gum recession: If gum disease or gum recession is contributing to sensitivity, it is essential to seek treatment from a dentist. Treating the underlying issue can help alleviate sensitivity.
  6. Consider dental treatments: In some cases, dental treatments such as dental bonding, dental sealants, or fluoride varnishes can be applied to protect exposed tooth surfaces and reduce sensitivity.
  7. Professional dental care: Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings can help identify and address any underlying dental issues that may be causing sensitivity.

To find out more, speak to a local dental clinic, such as Highland Family dental.


Stopping Tooth Decay Before It Ruins Lives

After a numerous visits to the dentist to fix my cavities, I am proud to say that I'm officially tooth decay free. I used to be a slacker when it came to brushing and flossing my teeth. But after almost losing my teeth to bad cavities and a major gum disease scare, I changed my oral hygiene habits for good. I now feel better about my appearance because I pay more attention to my dental care. I even make it to my dental appointments without numerous reminders from my dentist. If you have bad cavities and fear losing your teeth, read through my blog. It'll give you valuable tips to help you stay cavity-free.