Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem that affects more than 40 million adults in the United States alone. Tooth sensitivity occurs when the hard enamel that protects your teeth wears down, exposing the soften dentin layer which contains the inner pulp of the tooth. This layer is more sensitive to heat and cold, so when you put things like coffee or ice cream in your mouth, they begin to hurt.
Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
Brushing Too Hard – Brushing too hard, especially with a hard-bristled toothbrush, can wear down the enamel in your teeth. Try a softer touch.
Acidic Foods – Acidic foods like citrus can wear down enamel and will cause increased sensitivity if you consume them once your enamel is worn down.
Teeth Grinding – Over time, grinding exposes your dentin. Ask your dentist about a mouthguard for use at night.
Toothpaste and Mouthwash – Some toothpastes and mouthwashes contain chemicals that might make your teeth more sensitive. Consider toothpaste and mouthwashes made for those with sensitive teeth.
Gum Disease – Gum disease causes your gums to recede, exposing previously covered parts of the teeth. Treatment of gum disease is possible, but a good dental health regimen will increase your resistance to gum disease.
Plaque Buildup – Without proper dental care, plaque builds up on your teeth, where it wears down enamel.
Cracked or Chipped Tooth – Cracking or chipping a tooth can expose the more sensitive layers of the tooth. This requires professional dental attention.
Decay Around Fillings – Decay can occur around old fillings, leaving spaces for bacteria to get in and eat away at enamel. Fillings can be replaced to prevent this.
Dental Procedures – It is normal for teeth to be sensitive for a period of time following some dental procedures such as root canals, crowns, or extractions.
About Olney Dental
Olney Dental has been providing comprehensive dental care for residents of Olney and the surrounding area since 1985. We’re conveniently located on the campus of Montgomery General Hospital, and provide care for all ages for children to adults and seniors. We’re also independently owned by our dentists, which allows us be patient driven in our approach to dentistry. Your smiles make us smile! You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube.