Why are my teeth so sensitive?
Chances are that one of you or someone you know has sensitive teeth. If you are familiar in some way with the plight of those with sensitive teeth, you know that dealing with this kind of tooth pain is not easy. There are many different causes of tooth sensitivity, and we can certainly help you get to the root of the problem.
The biggest cause of sensitive teeth is tooth decay—cavities, diet, brushing too hard, grinding your teeth, gingivitis, broken or cracked teeth, tooth whitening, exposed tooth root, plaque, dental procedures, and more. Thankfully, tooth sensitivity is not something that has to rule your life. You can eat the foods, and drink the drinks you like even though you have sensitive teeth. But there are some things you will need to try first to help bring this pain under control.
What can I do to treat my tooth sensitivity?
- Continue with good oral hygiene – Brush twice a day for two minutes each with a soft bristled toothbrush, floss every day, and rinse with fluoride or antiseptic mouthwash every day. Sometimes tooth sensitivity is a result of becoming lax in your dental routine, so picking back up where you left off is always a good idea. This is definitely the path of least resistance, and a good first step to figuring out if your sensitivity can be helped by simply maintaining a good tooth care routine.
- Use a toothpaste specifically for sensitive teeth – These types of toothpaste are formulated with specific compounds that help block sensations to your teeth and their roots. After using them for a week or so, you might notice that hot and cold temperatures do not seem to affect your teeth as much as they did before. While a change in toothpaste does help an immense number of people, there are some cases where tooth sensitivity could not be resolved by using a sensitive toothpaste.
- Fluoride treatment at the dentist – We can apply fluoride directly to the sensitive area of your tooth. This strengthens your enamel (weak enamel is a cause for tooth sensitivity), and thereby reduce the amount of pain you are feeling.
- Guard for grinders – If you grind your teeth, and that seems to be causing the sensitivity, we may have you wear a mouth guard at night to protect your teeth. Teeth grinding has many adverse side effects, and sensitivity is just one of them. The quicker we can resolve this issue, the healthier your teeth can be.
- Gum grafting – There are times when tooth sensitivity can come from too much gum recession. When your gum recedes to the point that the root begins to be exposed, a graft of gum tissue from elsewhere in your mouth can be used to recover the root and reduce your sensitivity.
- Root canal – If all else fails, a root canal could be the solution to your tooth sensitivity issues. But we will try everything else before coming to this conclusion. A root canal could likely be the answer if the pain is continuing, and if the pain is not resolved by the other means we have talked about.
What can I do to prevent tooth sensitivity?
The first line of defense is maintaining good oral hygiene and making regular visits to us—your dentist in Charleston, SC. Keep your semi-annual or annual dental appointment, and treat your teeth well. Your diet is also on the frontline of defending your teeth from sensitivity, and there are some surprise foods that are bad for your teeth. So remember to eat smart, and keep taking care of your teeth by brushing, flossing, and rinsing.