Do you experience pain in your teeth when they come into contact with substances that are too hot, cold or acidic? If so, you have sensitive teeth, an issue that effects millions of Canadians. This problem is usually caused when the inner core of your tooth is exposed. Wonder how this happens?
Top Seven Leading Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
- Brushing too vigorously. Brushing your teeth using a medium- or hard-bristled toothbrush can scratch away the enamel of your teeth. Similarly, pressing too hard while brushing, or brushing too frequently, can also damage to the outer layer of your teeth.
- Whitening toothpaste. While the idea of whiter teeth may be appealing, the ingredients in whitening toothpastes may be causing you to have sensitive teeth. This is because the whitening agents used to brighten your teeth can strip away enamel.
- Plaque buildup. Plaque can cause tooth decay. When this hard, sticky substance isn’t removed, it can lead to enamel erosion and tooth sensitivity.
- Cracked or damaged teeth. Cracked and chipped teeth that aren’t repaired quickly can become sensitive because the inner dentin is left exposed.
- Gum disease. Gingivitis can cause inflammation that exposes the roots of your teeth and periodontal disease can cause your gums to recede, also exposing them. Both can cause sensitive teeth.
- You use mouthwash. Much like whitening toothpaste, many types of mouthwash include ingredients that are known to increase tooth pain.
- Some dental procedures. It’s normal to experience some sensitivity after a root canal, tooth extraction, or other dental procedure. In this case, the symptoms should disappear within a short time.
Once you’ve determined what’s causing your tooth sensitivity, there are ways to treat it. Here are a few options:
- Switch to a toothpaste that’s formulated for sensitive teeth. These can help block the pain of tooth sensitivity.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush no more than three times a day.
- See your dentist for a thorough cleaning. They may suggest other treatments like non-surgical gum therapy or bonded fillings to reverse the underlying cause of your tooth sensitivity.
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