Why so sensitive?
At some point, you may have experienced a little sensitivity when eating, perhaps after enjoying an ice-cold beverage or after biting into something hot. Even breathing a blast of cold air can cause discomfort. Why do some people experience sensitivity while others don’t? Here are some common causes of tooth sensitivity.
Underneath the hard, shiny enamel of each tooth is a protective layer called dentin. Dentin is extremely sensitive, and those who suffer from severe sensitivity may have inadvertently exposed the dentin layer of the tooth. An overly aggressive brushing technique can cause the gums to recede and expose the dentin on the tooth root. This can be a particularly sensitive area.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Periodontal disease can destroy the bone and gum tissue to the point that the sensitive root part of the tooth is exposed. To identify and prevent gum disease early, visit your dentist for regular cleanings and exams.
From simple whitening toothpastes and rinses to professional in-office applications, many tooth whitening treatments can cause extra sensitivity. If your quest to make your teeth pearly white is affecting their sensitivity, your dentist may recommend fewer applications or a lower-strength treatment.
Sensitivity can also be caused by excessive tooth grinding or clenching. Some patients are unaware they grind or clench their teeth because it only occurs in their sleep. When this is the case, wearing a mouthguard to bed to prevent the unconscious grinding can sometimes solve the problem. Your dentist will have additional suggestions and treatment options.
Most people experience slight tooth sensitivity from time to time. If yours is frequent, interferes with your ability to eat or affects the quality of your daily life, discuss possible treatments with your dentist.