Tooth sensitivity is a common problem. But if you wince when you drink a cold beverage, or experience discomfort when you brush and floss, this doesn’t always indicate that something is wrong with your teeth or gums.
Having sensitive teeth, however, is a sign that you should pay attention to your oral health and, depending on the circumstances, see your Johns Creek dentist.
Identifying the Cause of Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity can come and go. Extremely cold, hot, or sweet foods and drinks can sometimes cause sensitivity, even breathing in cold air could cause a slight pain. To help determine if your tooth sensitivity is a sign or symptom of a bigger oral health issue, or if it’s simply caused by a bad habit that you can change, consider the following potential reasons for tooth sensitivity:
1. You brush too hard.
Brushing well and brushing hard are not the same thing. In fact, brushing your teeth with a heavy hand will actually wear away the protective layers of your teeth over time. Aggressive brushing can also contribute to gum recession. These results leave you susceptible to discomfort. Using a brush with soft bristles and brushing more gently (but just as thoroughly) can help combat the issue.
2. You grind your teeth.
Tooth enamel is incredibly strong, but the bite of your teeth is even stronger and, eventually, grinding your teeth excessively will wear down tooth enamel. Any interior layers of your tooth that become exposed will make you more likely to experience tooth sensitivity. A customized night guard and treatment for sleep bruxism are the best solutions for teeth grinding.
3. You use whitening toothpaste.
There is nothing wrong with wanting whiter teeth, and there is nothing wrong with using over-the-counter whitening toothpaste. However, some people are simply more sensitive to whitening products than others. Your gums and teeth could react negatively, creating sensitivity. Replace your toothpaste with one for sensitive teeth to see if this helps. If you still want whiter teeth, visit your Johns Creek dentist to talk about a professional, in-office, teeth-whitening treatment that takes precautions to prevent you from developing tender gums and teeth.
4. You have gum disease.
Early stages of gum disease are not always easy to spot to the unpracticed eye. However, tooth sensitivity is one sign that something untoward is going on under the surface of your teeth. If all other options have been considered and eliminated but you’re still experiencing sensitivity, see your Suwanee dentist as soon as you can. Periodontal treatment for early gum disease will protect you from further problems, including tooth loss, and the need for major tooth restorations.
Eliminating Tooth Sensitivity
When the enamel protecting your teeth thins, when gum recession is present, the underlying layers of your teeth are exposed. Without the protection of tooth enamel and strong gums, your teeth and their roots are more likely to react to triggers and cause sensitivity and pain. Even simple, innocuous-seeming things can give you sensitive teeth, like eating acidic foods and using too much mouthwash. But there are also serious problems that can be the cause of your discomfort, including excessive plaque, decay, or a cracked tooth.
Tooth sensitivity is easily treatable when the source of the problem is identified. But if you can’t figure it out on your own and the issue persists, contact Dr. Mitul Patel, Johns Creek family dentist, to schedule an appointment and find out what’s really going on with your oral health.