Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?
Sensitive teeth can happen to anyone and for a variety of reasons. One of the most common causes is when your tooth enamel (outside layer of the tooth) wears down, exposing the underlying dentin of your tooth. Dentin contains thousands of microscopic channels (like many tiny straws stacked together) that lead to your tooth pulp. Sensations caused by heat, cold, and acid can travel through these channels (mini straws) to reach the nerves inside your tooth, causing pain and sensitivity.
Additionally, during this especially stressful time in the world, an increasing number of people are suffering from clenching and tooth grinding. This often occurs at night and you might not even know you’re doing it! Unfortunately, clenching and grinding are very common causes of tooth sensitivity. If not treated properly and in a timely manner, these habits can lead to cracked teeth, root canal treatment, crowns, or extraction and dental implants.
There are several other factors that can cause your teeth to be sensitive:
- Gum disease
- Gum recession
- Tooth decay
- Cracked or broken teeth
- Brushing too hard (or using a hard-bristled toothbrush)
- Using the wrong mouthwash
- Too much teeth bleaching
- Plaque buildup
Proper diagnosis is key to finding the best tooth sensitivity treatment. By addressing the root of the issue, you can relieve tooth sensitivity and live your life without pain.
Home Remedies For Sensitive Teeth
The best way to avoid and treat sensitive teeth is to take good care of your tooth enamel. Get into the habit of brushing after every meal or at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. You also need to visit your dentist at least every 6 months to keep plaque and decay at bay. Your dentist can also help you form a personalized treatment plan to protect your teeth and get rid of sensitive tooth pain.
In addition to your doctor-recommended instructions, try these at home care tips:
- Don’t brush too hard (always use a soft bristle toothbrush)
- Use toothpaste meant for sensitive teeth
- Floss at least once a day (be gentle!)
- Use mouthwash sparingly
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks
- Choose snacks like fruits and vegetables
- Drink hot and cold beverages with a straw
- Focus on unclenching your teeth
- Consider a custom night guard if recommended by your dentist
- Take a break from teeth bleaching
When To See A Dentist About Sensitive Teeth
Mild Tooth Sensitivity
Experiencing tooth sensitivity when you eat hot or cold foods and drinks or bite into certain foods? Do your teeth seem sensitive only during a certain time of the day and then the sensation seems to go away? Be sure to mention it to your dentist during your routine checkups. We’ll provide treatment recommendations and help you find the source of the issue.
Advanced Tooth Sensitivity
If your teeth always feel sensitive or are in pain, contact your dentist immediately. We don’t want you to be uncomfortable and there’s likely an underlying issue that needs to be addressed right away.
Remember: We welcome any questions and want to keep your teeth healthy and pain-free all year long — not just at your 6-month appointments. If you’re concerned about sensitive teeth, contact us in Escondido, CA. We’re here to help.