Are you experiencing pain or discomfort when eating or drinking hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods? If so, you may have sensitive teeth. Millions of individuals throughout the world struggle with tooth sensitivity, which is a common issue. It occurs when the enamel on the surface of your teeth wears away or when your gums recede, exposing the dentin layer underneath. In this article, we will discuss what causes sensitive teeth and what you can do to alleviate the discomfort.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
1. Brushing too hard
If you brush your teeth too hard, you can wear down the enamel on the surface of your teeth, exposing the dentin layer underneath. The dentin layer contains tiny tubules that lead to the nerves in your teeth, making them more sensitive.
2. Gum recession
When your gums recede from your teeth, the roots become visible and this is known as gum recession. The roots of your teeth are not protected by enamel, which makes them more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
3. Tooth decay
Tooth decay can cause sensitivity by exposing the dentin layer of your teeth. If you have a cavity, it can also trap food particles and bacteria, causing further decay and sensitivity.
4. Teeth grinding
Teeth grinding can wear down the enamel on the surface of your teeth, leading to sensitivity. It may also result in headaches and jaw pain.
5. Acidic foods and drinks
Consuming acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits and soda, can erode the enamel on the surface of your teeth, leading to sensitivity.
How Are Sensitive Teeth Treated?
There are several treatment options for sensitive teeth, including:
1. Desensitizing toothpaste
Desensitizing toothpaste contains compounds that block the tubules in the dentin and reduce sensitivity. You can use desensitizing toothpaste like regular toothpaste, but you may need to use it for several weeks before you notice a difference.
2. Fluoride treatment
Fluoride treatment can help strengthen your tooth enamel and reduce sensitivity. Your dentist may apply fluoride gel or varnish to your teeth during a dental visit, or you may be given a prescription for fluoride gel or toothpaste to use at home.
3. Dental bonding or sealants
Dental bonding or sealants can be used to cover the exposed roots of your teeth and reduce sensitivity.
4. Gum graft surgery
If gum recession is causing your sensitivity, your dentist may recommend gum graft surgery. This involves taking tissue from the roof of your mouth and attaching it to the affected gum tissue to cover the exposed roots.
5. Root canal
In severe cases, a root canal may be necessary to treat sensitive teeth. During a root canal, your dentist will remove the nerve endings in the affected tooth, eliminating sensitivity.
Sensitive teeth can be a painful and uncomfortable dental problem, but there are several treatment options available. If you are experiencing sensitivity, talk to your dentist about the best course of treatment for you.
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