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10 Unexpected Causes of Tooth Sensitivity and How to Treat It

May 24, 2022

Dental Care

 10 Unexpected Causes of Tooth Sensitivity and How to Treat It

If your teeth hurt after having something cold or hot, you might be experiencing tooth sensitivity. While tooth sensitivity is a common issue that can be diagnosed and treated with appropriate medications, it can be painful and disrupt your lifestyle if left unchecked.

If you are wondering, Why are my teeth sensitive all of a sudden? after having an ice cream or a hot coffee, this article is for you. Here are ten unexpected causes of tooth sensitivity and tips to deal with it:

Brushing your teeth forcefully can damage the protective layers of the teeth and expose the dental canals that lead to nerve endings. When these nerve endings are exposed to extreme temperature or acidic food, you may experience pain. Switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush and adopting a gentle brushing technique can help minimize sensitivity. The best way to help is to get an Oral B electric rechargeable toothbrush and if you already have one, there are specially made sensitive brush heads. (Change your brush head every three months as well.)

Eating Acidic Food

If you enjoy food with high acidic content, the acid can strip away the enamel coating on teeth, exposing the nerve pathways. If you are already suffering from tooth sensitivity, you may want to cut down on acidic foods like citrus, pickles, and tomatoes to prevent it from worsening.

Plaque build-up breaks down the protective enamel layer of the teeth, exposing the nerve endings beneath. To prevent tooth sensitivity due to plaque build-up, maintain proper oral hygiene and opt for professional examinations and cleaning as often as necessary for your mouth, up to every three months.

Talk to your dentist, while it can be difficult to alter your diet, a couple of easy solutions that we may suggest are a prescription fluoride toothpaste, or a newer to the market product, Professional Strength Sensitivity Relief Serum by well-known maker Colgate. It is an easy-to-use gel that you simply massage onto the affected area for a full minute. Tooth sensitivity is a common problem that we have a few easy and inexpensive ways to treat so please come in for an evaluation so that you do not suffer needlessly. Further, everyone should have their two dental exams a year to make sure there is not a more serious dental issue that needs more aggressive attention.

Brushing Your Teeth Aggressively

Brushing your teeth forcefully can damage the protective layers of the teeth and expose the dental canals that lead to nerve endings. When these nerve endings are exposed to extreme temperature or acidic food, you may experience pain. Switching to an Oral B rechargeable electric tooth brush or at least a soft-bristled manual toothbrush and adopting a gentle brushing technique can help minimize sensitivity. The softest bristled manual toothbrush on the market is by Curaprox. If you must use a manual toothbrush, this is your best bet.

Using Excessive Mouthwash

Many over-the-counter mouthwashes have an alcohol content and other corrosive chemicals that can strip away the enamel, leading to teeth sensitivity. Instead of mouthwash with high alcohol content, you can switch to neutral fluoride rinses.

Using Teeth Whitener

Teeth whitening chemicals present in certain kinds of toothpaste often corrode the protective layer of the teeth, causing sensitivity. Speak to our team about what teeth whitening options are best for sensitive teeth.

Cracked or Chipped Tooth

A cracked or chipped tooth is the most common cause of tooth sensitivity. It not only can cause pain but it also exposes nerve pathways, worsening the sensitivity. We can fix all your broken teeth. And, if this happens to you, don’t delay, neglecting a sign that your body is telling you that there is a problem in your mouth is not wise for your health, it can lead to needing more extensive care, requiring more time in the dental chair and more of your hard-earned money.

Dental Procedures

Some dental procedures such as root canal, tooth extraction, or crown placement can be accompanied to treat tooth sensitivity and pain. Again, seek the care you need. Most dental problem one can not feel. One can not feel a cavity starting or the start of gum disease for that matter. Once you have pain, it can mean a more extensive problem and your lack of seeking care will not heal itself.

Our team at Smile Arizona Dentistry specialize in helping you with your dental problems in a non-judgmental manner. We can often stage care to fit your needs whether it be quickly in the fewest number of dental visits or stage your care over time to fit a particular budget but the fact is, you should take action to get you back to health and then maintain it periodically. Listen to your dentist, we stress preventive care here in our office and if you follow our tips, you actually will need less care.

Plaque Build-up

A plaque build-up often breaks down the protective enamel layer of the teeth, exposing the nerve endings beneath. To prevent tooth sensitivity due to plaque build-up, maintain proper oral hygiene and opt for professional cleaning once every few months.

Gum Diseases

Gum diseases like gingivitis is acidic and can expose the underlying nerve roots. Consult with us and get treated before your gingivitis situation worsens. This is the #1 most common dental problem that afflicts the adult population worldwide.

Tooth Decay Around the Fillings

With age, bacterial action around dental fillings can cause them to fracture or leak, resulting in acid accumulation. This acidic build-up can cause enamel breakdown and tooth sensitivity. Make sure to get your fillings replaced as we suggest and we will show you specifically why, before they get degraded by bacterial action and require more extensive treatment.

Excessive Teeth Grinding

Grinding or clenching your teeth can cause significant damage to the top enamel layer of your teeth, causing them to wear over time. This can expose dentin containing nerve pathways in the teeth and make the teeth more vulnerable to temperature changes, causing tooth sensitivity and pain. Dentists often prescribe mouth guards to prevent and slow the enamel wear and prevent and slow the start and progression of a certain characteristic wear issue that we call an abfraction lesion due to excessive teeth grinding. An abfraction lesion looks like a sidewise V cut into your tooth right at the gumline. These lesions can be especially sensitive to eating and drinking.

An occlusal guard is ideal preventative care! It slows occlusal wear, gumline wear, prevents and slows exacerbating gingival issues by balancing your bite in your sleep. This way the guard makes all the teeth fare the trauma together.

Take Action Today

Tooth sensitivity can be easily diagnosed and treated with proper medications and procedures. Knowing what causes sensitive teeth all of a sudden can help you lower your chances of experiencing tooth sensitivity in the future. Home remedies like using a desensitizing toothpaste, saltwater rinse, diluted hydrogen peroxide (1part hydrogen peroxide to 3 parts water), green tea, and turmeric can provide relief from tooth sensitivity.

Life has many unknowns, taking excellent care of your teeth is not one of the unknowns. Make an appointment today, it would be our pleasure to serve you and all our skilled staff here at Smile Arizona Dentistry guarantee you will learn something about yourself the first time we meet!

Please fill out a new patient registration form online at Smile Arizona Dentistry and call us today for your first appointment 480-994-5225. We look forward to meeting you!

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