Anytime the soft core of your teeth called dentin (that the hard shell called the enamel normally protects) becomes exposed, you are likely to experience pain or sensitivity to hot or cold food. This is because the dentin surrounds the pulp or nerve of your tooth, so hot foods or cold foods gain direct access to this nerve though the porous dentin, causing you to experience pain as a result.
Understanding why you have sensitivity is the first step to combating it. Here are 10 reasons you might be experiencing sensitivity:
1.) Your Teeth Have Had Enough: Brushing too hard or with a stiff-bristled toothbrush can wear down your enamel. Grinding your teeth can have the same effect. When you wear down the enamel your dentin becomes exposed and you will experience sensitivity:
What to do if this is your case? Stick to soft bristled brushes and brush often but softly, remembering that you are trying to remove bactera and food particles, not the surface of your teeth. Additionally, buy a night guard to prevent grinding.
Suggested Reading: How to Know if you Have a Great Toothbrush
2.) Your Gums Have Had Enough: If you do not brush or floss properly, your gums will become puffy and bleed. Allowing this problem to continue will lead to a serious gum disease called gingivitis, which will cause your gums to recede and cause the dentin of your teeth to become exposed, resulting in sensitivity.
What do you do? Talk to your dentist ASAP. He can help treat the gingivitis. Until then, invest in a good sensitive toothpaste and use it to increase gum/tooth health and decrease pain.
Suggested Reading: Bleeding Gums
3.) You Just Whitened : Teeth whitening products can often lead to sensitivity.
How do you combat this? Buy a sensitive toothpaste and the discomfort will go away. If not, see your dentist.
Suggested Reading: Teeth Whitening at Home
4.) You Just Had Some Dental Work : Sometimes, getting a filling or root canal can leave your teeth more sensitive than before.
What should you do? Keep an eye on it, but this sensitivity is natural and should disappear in 4-6 weeks.
5.) Your Teeth are Decaying . If the enamel of your teeth has worn down, don’t be surprised if the decay you experience as a result brings sensitivity. Afterall, the pulp of your teeth will be even more vulnerable once the dentin has been eaten away.
What do you do? Schedule an appointment ASAP to get your cavities filled and prevent further damage.
Ultimately, if you are experiencing senstive teeth and cannot pinpoint why, you should see your dentist for a consultation, because sensitive teeth is sometimes a small symptom of something more serious.
If you are looking for a Lehi dentist with experience in working with Utah families, call Dr. Hepworth, voted the best dentist in Lehi Utah. Call his office at 801.331.8545.