What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

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What causes teeth to become sensitive?

Enjoying your favorite hot beverage or frozen treat can be a real pain when you’re suffering from sensitive teeth. This is something that happens to all of us at one time or another, which is why it’s important to maintain good dental hygiene.

For today’s discussion, however, we’re going to look at what causes sensitive teeth. There’s actually a very long list, but we’ve narrowed it down to 10 of the most common culprits:

Brushing Way Too Hard

Believe it or not, one reason your teeth might be a bit sensitive is because you’re brushing with a bit too much gusto. If you’re brushing too hard, using a hard-bristled toothbrush, or a combination of the two, you could end up wearing down the enamel. We’d suggest switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush and easing up a bit.

You’re Eating Too Many Acidic Foods

We love everything from lemons and grapefruit to pickles and tomato sauce. But over time, these acidic foods can expose the pathways going to your nerves, making your teeth more sensitive. Eat these foods in moderation. If you find yourself enjoying them on a regular basis, brush your teeth soon afterwards to wash away the acid.

Teeth-Whitening Toothpaste

Professional teeth-whitening treatments are a great way to keep your teeth looking great. However, some people are sensitive to the chemicals used in teeth-whitening toothpastes. If you’ve recently started using one of these toothpastes and have noticed increased sensitivity, you might want to switch to another product.

Too Much Mouthwash

Many types of mouthwash contain alcohol and other chemicals that may make your teeth more sensitive. Using fluoride mouthwash is an important part of proper dental hygiene, but make sure you’re not overdoing it. The best solution is to select a mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol. These are safer for your teeth yet still quite effective.

You May Have Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as gingivitis, occurs when you don’t take proper care of your teeth. Among other things, your teeth will become more sensitive. If you suffer from gum disease, your dentist will work with you to develop a treatment plan. They may also suggest sealing your teeth to protect them from future damage.

You Grind Your Teeth

A lot of people don’t realize that tooth enamel is the strongest substance in your body. Despite this, grinding or clenching your teeth will eventually wear them down and lead to all sorts of problems.

One such problem is, you guessed it, sensitivity! Wearing a mouth guard at night might not sound too appealing, but it’s very often the most effective solution.

You Have Excessive Plaque

As you’ve probably picked up by now, much of your tooth sensitivity is due to your tooth enamel being worn down. Excessive plaque is another reason why this happens. To help prevent plaque, you simply need to practice good dental care. Floss and brush every day to remove plaque, and visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings every six months.

You Just Had Dental Work

Most people are worried about pain following a dental procedure, but they don’t really think too much about their teeth being more sensitive. If you’ve just had a root canal, extraction, placement of a crown, or similar dental procedure, then some of your surrounding teeth may be more sensitive. If this persists after several days, contact your dentist to make sure you haven’t developed an infection.

You Have a Cracked Tooth

If you’ve suffered a chipped or cracked tooth, an increase in sensitivity is probably way down on your list of worries. But, if your tooth has been damaged, it’s very likely that it’ll be more sensitive until it can be fixed. You need to visit your dentist as soon as possible so that your damaged tooth can be evaluated and treated before it gets worse.

Decay Around a Filling 

Fillings typically last for quite a few years, but after a while, they begin to weaken and fracture around the edges. This makes it easy for bacteria to collect and eventually break down the tooth enamel, leading to an increase in sensitivity. The good news is that most fillings can be easily replaced. Plus, there are new and better fillings these days, which means you’ll get to upgrade.

Contact Dr. Ferullo Can Assist You with What Causes Sensitive Teeth

The St. Petersburg dentist office of Dr. Ferullo can assist you with tooth sensitivity, tooth losswhitening treatments, and any other dental procedures. If you have any other questions about what causes sensitive teeth or would like to schedule an appointment, call our office at (727) 822-8101 today.

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