Sensitive Teeth – What Causes Sensitivity and How to Control the Pain

Just about everyone has, at one time or another, endured the pain of sensitive teeth. Whether it’s triggered by cold foods and liquids or simply chewing regularly, tooth sensitivity can become a bothersome burden if left unchecked.

Did you know that our teeth are most sensitive between the ages of 25 to 30? While your age could certainly be a causative factor in your tooth pain, the sensitivity usually comes from other sources.

The most common causes of tooth sensitivity are often related to some form of damage to the affected tooth (or teeth). Here’s a roundup of the usual suspects causing your dental discomfort:

  • Chipped, cracked or broken teeth can become infected and inflamed
  • Grinding your teeth (often while sleeping) can cause wear on your teeth
  • Some Tooth-Whitening products have been linked to sensitivity
  • Acidic foods and drinks can wear away at your tooth enamel
  • Some dental procedures can cause short term sensitivity
  • Loose or lost fillings can expose sensitive parts of your teeth
  • Cavities, tooth decay and gingivitis are common culprits of sensitivity
  • Plaque build-up can reach the surface of your roots and prompt the pain

While the above list isn’t entirely exhaustive, it is prudent to practice preventative care and avoid all of the possible causes therein. Proper dental care is the surest way to avoid tooth sensitivity.

So now we know what usually causes our sensitive teeth, but you may not be able to hop into the Dentist’s chair right away – so how do you cope in the mean time?

  • Continue to brush and floss regularly
  • Use a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth
  • Use a fluoride rinse after each brushing
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash at least once per day
  • Try a soft-bristled tooth brush, or look for a toothbrush designed for sensitive teeth
  • Use a mouth guard at night to prevent teeth grinding while sleeping
  • For acute, high intensity pain from sensitivity, try an over-the-counter oral ointment

Furthermore, you may find relief in avoiding certain things that tend to cause more pain, such as:

  • Piping hot coffee or tea, soups and similar hot liquids
  • Ice-cold or frozen beverages and foods
  • Chewing hard candy, cough drops, ice and other hard crunchy foods
  • Sugary foods, sweets or chewing gum
  • Acidic foods, citrus fruits, sodas

Remember that the best solution for sensitivity is preventing it before it can manifest, which means proper dental hygiene and regular checkups with your dentist. Let us help you relieve your sensitive teeth and put the proper preventions in place today!

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