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Why Are My Teeth So Sensitive?

shutterstock_215480725Do you find yourself taking a sip of hot coffee or eating ice cream and clenching your teeth in pain? Ouch! Why do some people have teeth that are more sensitive than others? Having sensitive teeth can make it difficult to eat and exercise normal hygiene habits.

The wearing down of teeth and tooth enamel can cause the teeth to be sensitive to hot or cold drinks and foods. Often, this can make brushing and flossing a painful chore and cause difficulties for those who suffer from sensitive teeth.

Problematic tooth pain could be preventing a person from practicing normal healthy habits. By not giving the teeth the attention they need, they will only get worse. Getting rid of the pain associated with sensitive teeth starts with finding the source of the problem. There can be many factors that cause sensitive teeth.

Reasons Why Your Teeth May Be Sensitive

  • Tooth decay (cavities)
  • A worn filling
  • Exposed tooth root
  • Gum disease
  • A fractured tooth
  • Worn tooth enamel  

Someone who has healthy teeth will have a layer of enamel that protects the crowns of their teeth. The crown is the exposed part of the tooth above the gum line.

Loss of tooth enamel can be due to:

  • A diet that includes:
    • Soda
    • Other sugary drinks
    • Acidic foods
  • Medication
  • Dry mouth
  • Environmental factors (friction, wear and tear, stress, etc.)
  • Acid reflux disease
  • Genetics

Loss and lack of tooth enamel allows hot, cold, acidic, or sticky foods to reach the nerve cells inside the tooth and cause pain. Often, the only way to correct this is with over-the-counter products or in-office dental treatments

Getting Rid of or Alleviating Tooth Pain:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste: Contains compounds that help block transmission from the sensitive tooth to the nerve. Typically, sensitivity will be reduced after several applications.
  • Root canal: Treats the inside of the tooth for patients with severe or persistent sensitivity.
  • Dental bonding: Used to correct a flaw or chip in the tooth that causes sensitivity.
  • Fluoride gel: An in-office technique that involves the application of fluoride gel to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce the transmission of sensations.
  • Surgical gum graft: This will protect the root in cases where gum tissue has been lost.

The key to preventing tooth pain and sensitivity is good oral hygiene:

  • Brush and floss twice daily
  • Watch what you eat or drink
  • Have regular dental check-ups

If you have tooth pain, addressing it immediately is important for preventing other medical issues from arising.

Do you have sensitive teeth and want the pain to go away? Dr. Sands can help you get rid of tooth pain. You can schedule an appointment by calling (310) 273-0111 or by filling out our online contact form.

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