If you feel pain when eating hot, cold, or acidic foods, or even when breathing cold air, you may have sensitive teeth.
Tooth sensitivity occurs as the protective layer of enamel around your tooth gets thinner or erodes completely, exposing your tooth’s inner layers. Because these layers are not as hard as enamel, you feel the changes in temperature or acidity intensely. As enamel erodes, tooth sensitivity can come and go periodically.
Causes of Sensitive Teeth
There are a number of causes of sensitive teeth. Sensitivity can be a symptom of gingivitis (early gum disease) or periodontitis (gum disease) and a receding gum line that exposes the roots of your teeth. Cavities or tooth decay can also expose the roots or tooth nerves, causing extremely acute sensitivity. Other potential causes are excessive brushing or simply genetics.
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, schedule an appointment with Chandler Periodontics today. We’ll help to determine the cause(s) of your tooth sensitivity and then find a solution.
If you would like to try to relieve the pain on your own before visiting us, try these five helpful tips.
Practice Preventive Care
Overly aggressive or improper brushing can damage or erode the protective layer of tooth enamel. Try switching to a soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste made specially for sensitive teeth. You may also want to revisit your brushing technique to make sure you’re doing it correctly. These steps can help to strengthen your enamel and can stave off an emergency dental visit.
Avoid Acidic Foods
Acidic foods quickly weaken tooth enamel. Eating too much of them can wear away the enamel altogether, exposing the dentin, roots, and nerves. Avoid drinking excessive amounts of sugary, carbonated drinks, coffee, and red wine. Also, cut back on eating citrus fruits, vinegary foods, and high-sugar carbs.
When you do eat acidic foods, avoid brushing your teeth for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Because the acids weaken the enamel, brushing immediately after your meal may remove the enamel entirely.
Avoid Grinding Your Teeth
If you grind your teeth at night or during periods of intense concentration, you may be wearing your tooth enamel away unknowingly. If you have unexpected headaches when you wake up or throughout the day, it could be a sign that you’re grinding your teeth. If you grind your teeth at night, try using a mouthguard. If you find you’re doing it during the day, try to relax your jaw with the teeth slightly apart.
Treat Your Receding Gums
As noted earlier, tooth sensitivity can be a symptom of receding gums caused by gum disease. If you’re experiencing sensitive gums and notice that more of the surface of your teeth are exposed, visit your periodontist as soon as possible so the receding gums and sensitivity can be diagnosed and properly treated.
As you’ve seen, tooth enamel can erode easily, putting you at risk of sensitive teeth. If you have dentures, dental implants, or All-on-4 implants and are experiencing tooth sensitivity, this could be a sign of a more serious problem. If you have sensitive teeth or have sensitivity around your dentures, dental implants, or All-on-4 implants, contact us immediately to schedule an appointment.