A spoonful of cold ice cream, a sip of hot coffee, a bite of sweet birthday cake. If these have made your teeth hurt lately, you might be suffering from some tooth sensitivity. But what’s actually causing it? Why are my teeth so sensitive to cold or hot foods, or even sugar? you ask.
Several reasons exist for what causes your sensitive teeth. But the good 8/is that you have some at-home remedies and professional treatment that can help. In this post, I, Dr. Sonia Sahi, will cover five common triggers for tooth sensitivity and how to alleviate it.
1. Dental Erosion
Teeth are made of up several layers, the outermost being your hard tooth enamel. But sometimes this protective enamel can wear away. How does dental erosion cause teeth to become sensitive to sugar or hot and cold? The acids produced when your oral bacteria is processing sugar can weaken tooth enamel and eventually erode it. Acidic foods like pop or citrus fruits can also slowly erode enamel, exposing the sensitive dentin layer underneath and making your teeth more sensitive.
How to fix sensitive teeth from the effects of acidity? Your best bet is to avoid or limit sugar, acidic foods and drinks. You can also consider using a straw while consuming acidic beverages, plus, rinse your mouth with water after eating and drinking.
2. Teeth Grinding:
You know what also causes sensitive teeth? Persistent teeth grinding. Teeth grinding puts excessive force on your teeth which can wear down your enamel, leading to sensitivity. You might even experience cracks or chips in your teeth that expose dentin and nerves.
If your teeth grinding is stress related, try stress-reduction techniques like meditation or yoga. But if it’s related to a misaligned bite or crooked teeth, treatment like Invisalign can align your teeth so they fit together comfortably.
3. Gum Recession
Severely receded gums expose your teeth’s sensitive roots. Although gum recession is a common part of ageing, it can accelerate through aggressive brushing or gum disease.
Slowing down gum recession can help with tooth sensitivity. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a gentle brushing technique. Mantra to keep in mind? Brush longer, not harder.
4. Tooth Decay, Cavities and Other Oral Health Issues
A fourth answer to, “Why are my teeth sensitive?” is tooth decay. A cavity can lead to tooth sensitivity if it’s deep enough to reach into your soft dentin. And an untreated cavity can lead to gum disease or even dental abcesses.
Avoid cavities by maintaining a thorough oral hygiene routine. Brushing twice a day for at least two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily is just the start. Here is our recommendation for the best oral hygiene routine.
6. Teeth Whitening
Have sensitive teeth after teeth whitening? Whether from an at-home product or professional treatment, having sensitive teeth can happen but should only last a few days. If you experience prolonged tooth sensitivity, take longer breaks between whitening sessions or switch to a different treatment that has a lower concentration of whitening agents.
When to See a Dentist
While we’ve mentioned a few things you can try yourself for how to fix sensitive teeth, these fixes may only offer temporary relief. We recommend visiting our cosy and comfortable Fraser Street dentist office if your tooth sensitivity has:
- Continued for a long time
- Not alleviated from fixes you’ve tried at home
- Increased in pain or frequency
Your Nest Dental team will pinpoint what’s causing your tooth sensitivity with a comprehensive and comfortable exam. We might also turn to innovative dental technology like quick and painless digital x-rays to see inside your teeth.
Depending on what what we find, I might recommend:
- Fluoride varnish to strengthen your enamel
- Desensitizing toothpaste
- Dental fillings or crowns for cavities or cracked teeth
- Treating gum disease with scaling or root planing
- A gum graft for gum recession
- Root canal treatment for severe cases of dental abscess
How to Fix Sensitive Teeth With Your East Vancouver Dentist
Sensitive teeth can interfere with your quality of life. If you’ve tried ways to alleviate your sensitive teeth on your own and it hasn’t gone away, contact your Vancouver dentist serving Riley Park-Little Mountain, Mount Pleasant, Dickens, Kensington-Cedar Cottage, South Main and South Cambie.
Give us a shout and experience modern, personalized dental care that leads to a pain-free and confident smile.