If cold or hot treats send a sharp pain through your teeth, you are most likely experiencing tooth sensitivity. With this problem, even brushing your teeth is painful. While sensitive teeth are mainly caused by serious issues such as cavities or infections, a worn-down enamel is another cause. Having sensitive teeth is a strong indicator that something is wrong. Sometimes the problem is simple and requires minor lifestyle changes to fix it, but other times, you may need to see your dentist. If you are experiencing sensitive teeth, visit your dedicated dentist to rule out any serious issues.
Causes of Sensitive Teeth
When there is an infection raging in your mouth, your dentist will take immediate action to prevent further spread. An infected tooth versus infected gums look and feel different, so it’s important to distinguish the difference. An infected tooth will cause sensitivity, pain while chewing, sore gums, and a dark spot on the tooth. A gum infection will cause loose teeth and red, irritated, bleeding, and painful gums.
In other cases, your teeth are sensitive because of worn down enamel. If you are using a toothbrush with stiff bristles or are applying too much pressure when brushing, you’re actually damaging your enamel. All you need are soft bristles and a light touch to get your teeth squeaky clean.
In addition, acidic food eats away at enamel if consumed too frequently. Citrus fruits are great for a balanced diet, but they should be consumed in moderation. Acidic drinks such as pop and energy drinks should be enjoyed sparingly, if at all. Did you know that if you brush your teeth too soon after eating, especially after eating something acidic, you brush away enamel? This is because the acid in the food softens enamel. Always wait at least thirty minutes after eating before you brush your teeth to allow the enamel to re-harden.
If you clench or grind your teeth, you are probably wearing away at enamel and causing some tooth sensitivity. Wearing a mouth guard, especially at night, will help with this. In other cases, you may have malocclusion, a misalignment in your teeth. This causes your teeth to rub together in the wrong way but is easily fixed with an occlusal adjustment.
When in Doubt, Talk to Your Dentist
It’s important to recognize what our bodies are telling us. If you think something serious is causing your tooth sensitivity, do not wait to schedule an appointment with your dentist. The sooner your dentist assesses your mouth, the sooner the problem is fixed. Sometimes the problem is a simple fix. Other times, it’s a sign of something much more serious.