If you have started feeling a sharp pain or discomfort in your teeth while eating or drinking something cold, hot, sweet, or sour, then it is likely that you are experiencing tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be caused by various factors, ranging from lifestyle habits to underlying dental conditions.
Here are seven possible reasons for chronic tooth sensitivity.
1. Gum Recession
The root surface of your teeth is covered by a protective layer called cementum. When your gums recede, the cementum layer gets exposed, making your teeth more sensitive to cold, hot, sweet, or sour foods and drinks. Gum recession can be caused by periodontal disease, aggressive brushing, injury, orthodontic treatment, or genetics. You should visit your dentist to determine the best treatment plan if you have gum recession.
2. Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is a common dental problem that can cause sensitivity in your teeth. When acid-producing bacteria damage the enamel of your teeth, it can lead to cavities. These cavities can expose the sensitive dentin layer of your teeth, making them sensitive to temperature and pressure. If you have tooth decay, your dentist will likely recommend fillings or crowns to restore the structure of your teeth.
3. Cracked or Chipped Teeth
A cracked or chipped tooth can also cause sensitivity. When the outer layer of your tooth is damaged, it can expose the sensitive dentin layer, making it sensitive to temperature and pressure. If you have a cracked or chipped tooth, your dentist may recommend a filling, crown, or root canal treatment, depending on the severity of the damage.
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can also cause sensitivity in your teeth. When you grind your teeth, it can wear down the enamel, exposing the sensitive dentin layer. Stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, or misaligned teeth can cause bruxism. Your dentist may recommend a nightguard to protect your teeth from grinding while you sleep.
5. Acidic Foods and Drinks
Consuming acidic foods and drinks such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, soda, and wine can also cause sensitivity in your teeth. Acidic substances can erode the enamel, exposing the sensitive dentin layer. If you consume acidic foods and drinks, it is recommended that you rinse your mouth with water afterward to neutralize the acid.
6. Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening treatments can also cause sensitivity in your teeth. Whitening agents can penetrate the enamel, making your teeth more sensitive to temperature and pressure. If you experience sensitivity after a whitening treatment, your dentist may recommend desensitizing toothpaste or fluoride treatment to reduce the discomfort.
As we age, our teeth naturally become more sensitive. This is because the enamel on our teeth wears down over time, exposing the sensitive dentin layer. If you are experiencing sensitivity due to age, your dentist may recommend a fluoride treatment or a desensitizing toothpaste.
Tooth sensitivity can be caused by various factors ranging from lifestyle habits to underlying dental conditions. If you are experiencing chronic tooth sensitivity, visiting your dentist to determine the underlying cause and the best treatment plan is important. In the meantime, you can reduce the discomfort by avoiding acidic foods and drinks, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and using desensitizing toothpaste.
Manassas Smiles provides the best dental assistance in the industry! We offer a wide range of dental care services, including cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, and gum disease treatment, all in one place. Schedule an appointment today!