Increased Tooth Sensitivity: Causes and Methods of Treatment
Increased tooth sensitivity is a very common problem in today’s world. The pain is sudden, but fortunately not permanent. It can happen to anyone. However, we can treat and prevent increased tooth sensitivity.
But first, what are the signs of sensitive teeth? Most people who have experienced it say that it’s like a flash of sharp pain. It usually happens when you eat or drink something hot or cold, but in more serious cases it can happen when the tooth is exposed to air or even while brushing teeth.
To sum all the symptoms up, let’s quickly go through them. First one would be teeth sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages. This is the most common sign of sensitive teeth. People also can feel toothache while applying a bit of pressure to the teeth: e.g. while eating. Teeth sensitive to pressure make it very challenging to have a proper meal. Constant pain is really distracting. It also makes it difficult to brush your teeth. Another frustrating sign of sensitive teeth would be pain while breathing in cold air. It really catches people off guard when it happens. Teeth can also become sensitive to sugar. When teeth are sensitive to sugar it means it’s painful to eat sweet foods. It’s not that different from sensitivity to acidic or sour foods and beverages, it is also caused by the loss of enamel.
We should note that people also have conditions where their teeth are sensitive to heat but not cold, and vice-versa.
As you can see, very sensitive teeth bring lots of issues - they interrupt your daily routine: your meals, your workout, teeth brushing in the morning. This condition causes discomfort and needs a dentist’s attention.
While we wait for our appointment with the dentist, we can guess what caused this terrible sensation in our teeth. The reason for this is that your teeth enamel has worn away and the more sensitive layer of teeth called dentin has been exposed. It can happen due to a variety of circumstances. Here’s a list of the most common sensitive teeth causes:
- Brushing teeth too hard: Funnily enough, you can damage your teeth by brushing them. Don’t worry, it only happens if you do it very intensively. Another tip would be to use a soft brush to prevent your teeth enamel from wearing away.
- Not brushing teeth regularly: If you don’t floss your teeth regularly, plaque will build up and lead to all kinds of oral diseases. Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and do it thoroughly.
- Dental erosion: Tooth sensitivity can increase because of teeth enamel wearing away, exposing dentin. This can happen due to acidic food and drinks. To avoid that, try to reduce the consumption of said foods and drinks.
- Gum disease: Infected gums don’t protect the roots of your teeth very well, leading to increased tooth sensitivity. Additionally, gums may recede naturally over time, exposing the roots of your teeth. Keep your gums clean to reduce the risk of catching gum disease.
- Cracked tooth: When a cracked tooth is left unattended for too long, it can lead to all kinds of dental issues. It would be great if these issues stopped at increased sensitivity. If your tooth is sensitive to cold air or to hot and cold, it may need special treatment.
- Teeth grinding: This is a bad habit that may not be as dangerous as smoking or drinking but can lead to various dental problems. Grinding teeth causes damage to the enamel and exposes the inner layer.
- Dental work: Your teeth may become too sensitive after an appointment with the dentist. Procedures like teeth whitening, tooth restoration, dental crown placement etc. can all lead to increased tooth sensitivity. It usually wears off in four to six weeks. If it continues, check back with your dentist.
As you can see one sensitive tooth should not be left unattended. Who knows what caused this condition? If it doesn’t receive the right treatment, it may lead to other, more painful and serious health conditions. It’s also worth noting that one sensitive tooth may be a sign of a serious issue because most of the time it affects more than one tooth. If just one tooth becomes too sensitive, it’s almost clear that the enamel has worn off or the root became exposed. It also may be due to a cracked tooth or broken filling. It’s quite dangerous because there’s a risk of an abscess - pulp infection. The pulp of the tooth contains its’ nerve, and if left unattended, the nerve could die and you’ll have to go through a rather painful procedure of nerve extraction.
Sensitive back teeth can be a sign of an emerging wisdom tooth. It’s probably high time to have it removed because if your back teeth are sensitive, it means that your teeth will be overcrowded. As wisdom tooth comes in, it can push other teeth and move them. It can lead to damage to other teeth, swelling, jaw pain. This is called impacted wisdom tooth. It comes in at an angle, and that’s why it pushes other teeth and deals lots of pain. Sensitive back teeth may be the first sign of this happening.
Sensitive wisdom tooth can also be an issue. It can signalize that something’s wrong with it: it may be impacted, damaged or infected, and that’s not pleasant at all.
Tooth sensitivity treatment is not something you should be afraid of. It may require various methods, including surgical ones, but it’s mostly pain-free. Let’s see what you can do at home to reduce the risk of getting extreme tooth sensitivity:
- First of all, get a soft-bristled toothbrush and make sure to change it regularly. It’s recommended to change toothbrushes every 2-3 months. If it looks worn, it won’t hurt to change it early.
- Reduce consumption of highly acidic foods and drinks. Limit acidic drinks to meals only.
- Don’t grind your teeth. If you have a problem with this one, consider buying yourself a mouthguard, but don’t forget to consult with your dentist.
All of the measures above don’t rule out the risk of getting increased tooth sensitivity altogether. If it didn’t help or if you already have this condition, you should definitely go to the dentist. Here’s what they can do about the issue:
- Dental filling or crown: Fixing a cracked or problematic tooth may fix increased tooth sensitivity.
- Gingival grafting (gum graft): This is very effective if the sensitivity comes from the root of the tooth. This procedure will cover the roots back up and protect them.
- Root canal treatment: This is the last resort method, but it’s very effective indeed.
To sum it all up, it’s safe to say that the best treatment for sensitive teeth would be following all the tips on tooth sensitivity prevention. If it has already happened, you shouldn’t stop following these tips. They will not only prevent extreme tooth sensitivity but will also reduce the risk of caries, tooth decay, and other dental issues.
We hope that you will never experience the problem of extreme tooth sensitivity. It’s very painful and frustrating, and it’s not easy to deal with it. If you have already gone through that - we hope you’ll follow all our tips and won’t ever have this health condition again.
If your teeth are sensitive to heat it’s hard to enjoy your favorite hot meals. Equally, if your teeth sensitive to cold make it hard to eat ice-cream or drink soda. Teeth sensitive to sugar make it hard to enjoy sweets and delicious milkshakes. Teeth sensitive to pressure make it hard to eat in general. Brushing your teeth also becomes a challenge. It is necessary but may be painful under these circumstances.
It is clear that the best thing for sensitive teeth would be medical attention. If you have any signs of sensitive teeth, it’s better to schedule an appointment with the dentist. It’s necessary if none of the at-home tooth sensitivity treatment methods help.
Hopefully, you read through sensitive teeth causes and it will help you to avoid sensitive teeth. But even if it happens, our tips and advice should help you get through this easily and get rid of the toothache in no time.