Are your teeth suddenly sensitive to hot, cold, or even sweets? Maybe breathing in cool air hurts your back teeth or getting a routine cleaning at your dental appointment suddenly hurts for the first time or more than it used to? Your teeth may even feel less strong and resilient than they once did. All of these occurrences are common, and many of the underlying issues are reversible… or at least stoppable. However, that doesn’t make the problem you’re experiencing any less annoying! Let’s discuss a few common causes of tooth sensitivity.
1) Grinding and Clenching
Has a dentist told you in the past that you have tooth wear consistent with grinding at night? Perhaps your partner has let you know you audibly grind your teeth while sleeping. Some people also clench their teeth throughout the day, such as while working or driving, or when feeling extra stressed. Perhaps you have been prescribed a night guard and have lost it or forgotten to wear it or suspect that you grind and clench but have not been treated. This is a common cause of sensitivity. Grinding and clenching wear away the top layers of enamel, exposing what’s underneath and causing your teeth to become more sensitive.
2) Whitening Products Containing Bleach
Everyone loves a sparkling white smile, but if you are bleaching your teeth, either DIY at home or under the care of a professional, it can cause serious sensitivity in some people. You may need to cut back on bleaching, switch products, or add in a sensitive toothpaste.
If you need a filling (or several) you can experience sensitivity on that tooth (or teeth). Much like with grinding, it is an issue of the deeper parts of your teeth being exposed. However, cavity-related sensitivity is more localized and is a sharper, more pointed sensation. A dentist can identify this problem right away at a routine appointment.
4) Gum Issues
Poor hygiene (especially related to brushing and flossing) can cause gingivitis and even periodontitis, which can impact whole-body health, even leading to heart disease. Stress can also cause certain gum issues related to periodontitis. Even if you do not face one of these problems, the natural process of aging contributes to a gradual recession of the gums. As more teeth are exposed or damaged, sensitivity often occurs. Luckily, there are both preventative methods and treatment plans for these issues.
5) Injury or Trauma
A broken, cracked, or chipped tooth or crown can cause significant sensitivity. Even if the crack is hard to see, it can cause noticeable pain. Also, sometimes the crack is within the root and a root canal may be needed. X-rays help a dental team to figure out the problem, even if it is invisible! Be sure to notify your provider of any recent injuries, even small trauma in the mouth that seems to have healed.
6) Sinus Infection
If you have a severe sinus infection or sinusitis, often from letting a bug or allergies go untreated, it can cause tooth pain and sensitivity! This is because the pressure in the sinus systems throughout your face, head, and neck can put excess pressure on the nerve endings of your teeth.
Getting the Care You Need
The fix for sensitivity is often quite simple, so there’s no need to suffer through the hurt! Some sensitivities are easily treated with a Fluoride Varnish administered by your dental professional. This is a seal that strengthens root surfaces and decreases sensitivity.
If you are experiencing sensitivity, be sure to schedule an appointment. One thing you should never do is avoid the dentist due to pain. We’re here to help!
Mention this article at your hygiene visit and receive a free fluoride varnish treatment. Call now to schedule 817-282-9321