Monthly Archives: July 2011

Causes of Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth can make you wince when eating a tasty ice cream or drinking a hot aromatic coffee. You may even wonder that flossing your teeth makes you jerk with pain. Having sensitive teeth nowadays may give you a temporary discomfort but being sensitive on its causes can give you a permanent relief.

Normally, a healthy tooth cannot feel any discomfort when taking foods or being touched. However, when the enamel, the hard covering around the tooth is lost, nerve endings are easily exposed and the temperature from the food, or touch from flossing can be very intense for the nerves sending signals to our brain.

The normal barrier of a healthy tooth can be broken down from several reasons:

  1. Gum Recession – It makes the root surfaces exposed making it more sensitive to temperature. It is one of the most common causes of sensitive teeth due to brushing too hard, poor oral hygiene or pre-existent periodontal disease. You can easily spot a gum recession when the gum line is not that uniform as before. Dentist’s advice to use toothpastes made for sensitive teeth such Synsodyne. In some cases, when it is severe, a gingival graft procedure must be done.sensitive teeth 300x300 Causes of Sensitive Teeth
  2. Enamel Erosion or Tooth decay –Acids are the enemies of the natural hard barrier of the tooth – the enamel. The acidic environment of the mouth can destroy these barriers over time boring some cracks or holes. Until such time when enough nerve endings are exposed, you will feel an intense discomfort. A dental visit is very helpful in locating the affected tooth. Tooth filling can be done when the decay is not advanced. However, root canal is done when the tooth is really in bad condition.
  3. Bruxism or Teeth Grinding – No one really knows why people have this behavior of grinding their teeth. Some say it is due to stress or means of taking the anxiety out of the situation just like thumb sucking in toddlers. However, no matter what the cause, it still exposes the nerve root. The cracks due to tooth grinding can make you highly vulnerable to cold sensitivity. Proper dental follow-up must be done especially for people with chronic tooth grinding at night. A night guard is used to prevent further tooth damage.
  4. Cracked Tooth Syndrome – This is a common problem located at the posterior teeth. Small cracks due to decay or bruxism make it sensitive to cold too. A dentist must do a trans-illumination in order to diagnose this. A crown filling or root canals are the two procedures indicated.
  5. Old age – Sensitivity of the teeth can be developed through time. Enamel will eventually wear off and eating ice cream or drinking coffee can be a very uncomfortable experience for old people.

Knowing the common causes of sensitive teeth can help you in looking on your diet as well as dental hygiene. Early detection of these dental problems can definitely save you hundreds of dollars.