Why are my teeth sensitive?

One of the most frequent concerns we hear at Morrin Dental is tooth sensitivity. Have you also been asking the question, “Why are my teeth sensitive?” If so, your first step is to please contact us. Self-diagnosis can lead to heightened fear a well as worsening, even dangerous conditions. Keeping your teeth healthy and strong is a team effort, and assessments like these are our job.

You are welcome to ask all the questions you would like, but let’s see if we can answer some immediately to bring reassurance and alleviate fear.

What causes tooth sensitivity?

Sensitivity to both hot and cold has to do with a triggered nerve in the tooth pulp. When there is gum recession, the root surface is exposed. Everything from sweets to cold air can inflame the pulp and cause the short, sharp pain you are experiencing. Inflammation of the pulp and dentine exposure are also the result of tooth decay, a cracked tooth, or exposed dentine (which is simply the substance beneath your tooth enamel). In one way or another, there’s been damage to the tooth.

Could I be causing the damage and sensitivity?

Yes. One reason your tooth could be sensitive is thanks to hard brushing or abrasive toothpaste. Acidic foods such as fizzy juices, citrus, beer, or wine, can also cause enamel erosion. Physical conditions such as gastric reflux, gum disease, and certain stomach problems will predispose a patient to tooth sensitivity. Poor habits: do you grind your teeth? Do you use whitening products often? Both increase the likelihood of damage to your teeth and therefore, severe sensitivity.

Can I make it stop?

Reducing acidic food consumption (like those listed above) and soft drinks, too, is advised. Talk to a health care provider about physical conditions, and break poor brushing and grinding habits. These changes, however, will not reverse the damage done. This is why it’s important for you to please contact us. At our office we will help you determine any harmful habits attributing to your pain, as well as ways to prevent worsening. Then, we will address the current gum recession and dentine exposure to see if any further action might help.

At Morrin Dental, we find most patients are able to tame tooth sensitivity with ongoing 6-month cleanings, brushing twice each day with the correct technique, and maintaining correspondence when they’ve concerns.

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