How to Treat Sensitive Teeth and What Causes It? – Surprising Facts
Many of us either experience sensitive teeth or know someone has them. Estimated 1 in 8 people in the U.S. possibly has sensitive teeth. Why are we having sensitive teeth and what to do about it?
Here are the top causes of sensitive teeth and treatments you could do at home and at a dental office.
The most common culprits of sensitive teeth are:
- Gum Recession
- Gum disease
- Acidic food consumption
- Sugar consumption
- Grinding or Clenching (too much pressure on the teeth)
- Aggressive brushing
- Post-treatment Sensitivity
You may have thought that cavity brought on by sugar consumption could be a source of teeth sensitivity. However, other factors like bruxism (grinding – causing the teeth to wear down) and aggressive brushing can cause sensitivity too.
Although teeth are the hardest organs in the body, they can be extremely sensitive. If a tooth encounters the smallest stimuli, it can send signals to your brain and you know about it immediately.
Besides cavities and gum disease, which are known to cause pain and sensitivity in many cases, trauma on the teeth can cause sensitivity. Also having a filling or crown done to remove the decay and restore a tooth can promote sensitivity.
It is common to have lingering sensitivity after some dental treatment. So, what should we do to reduce or eliminate sensitivity? Here are some suggestions.
- Regular, consistent check – up
- Good oral hygiene
- Being conscious of the choice of food and drinks
- Considering a night guard
- Fluoride gel treatment and/or anti-sensitivity toothpaste
- Considering filling, gum graft or bite adjustment, etc.
Regular check up will definitely help you determine the source of the sensitivity. Our doctors could suggest a variety of home care or in office, treatment to reduce sensitivity.
If it is a cavity, it could be restored. If gum recession is present, we could either suggest fluoride gel (prescription only) or over the counter desensitizing toothpaste. In some cases, gum treatments can restore the gum recession back to health.
Maintaining good oral hygiene by flossing, brushing daily would reduce the amount of plaque, which is a source of inflammation and pain.
Minimizing sugar and acidic foods and drinks will help reducing sensitivity and decay.
Choose water whenever possible.
Once a diagnosis is made by our doctors, we could help you overcome the sensitivity by correct treatment and/or lifestyle changes. A simple night guard and covering the exposed underlying dentin or the root can help you feel less sensitive.