The 3 Top Causes for Tooth Sensitivity

Posted by Gannon Lee on Sep 26 2019, 11:29 PM

Tooth sensitivity is an uncomfortable feeling that occurs when teeth are exposed to certain temperatures, chemicals, or pressure. It often occurs in response to cold, hot, or acidic foods and beverages. Three main causes of sensitivity are:

Gum Disease and Tooth Decay

Untreated gum disease can result in the recession of the gum line, exposing roots to temperature extremes and irritants that can cause tooth sensitivity. If you are experiencing pain when eating or drinking hot or cold beverages, schedule an appointment with your dentist to see if you need periodontal treatment.

In addition to gum disease, teeth may suffer from decay which can also result in tooth sensitivity. If cavities are left untreated, the decay can reach past the enamel layer to the dentin layer of the tooth, finally reaching the pulp. In cases of severe tooth decay, root canal therapy may be necessary. Root canal therapy cleans out infected tissue from within a tooth that has been affected by decay to prevent further infection and the accompanying discomfort from affecting the patient’s life.

If you are suffering from sensitivity of the teeth, it is best to see the dentist to seek treatment that will prevent further complications from occurring.

Cracked Teeth

If you suffer from cracked teeth, your teeth may be hypersensitive because the crack allows bacteria to get inside your tooth and cause an infection. Root canal therapy is often used to treat infected teeth. The treatment involves cleaning out the tooth and its roots and then sealing it back up with a filling. This prevents further infection and keeps the tooth healthy enough to withstand normal chewing pressure. You may need root canal therapy if you don’t want to have the tooth removed or if you are unable to undergo the procedure. 

Brushing with Hard Bristles

A tooth’s outer layer, the enamel, is very strong and durable – but not invincible! Your enamel can be eroded by acidic foods and beverages, brushing with hard-bristled toothbrushes, and grinding your teeth at night. This erosion can leave your dentin layer exposed, which is full of tiny tubes that lead to the center of your tooth. These thin tubes can’t withstand the effects of hot or cold foods and drinks as well as nerves in the roots of your teeth can. This can lead to discomfort when you eat or drink something cold or hot or even sweet or sour meals.

Grinding your teeth can also lead to sensitivity, as you create more friction on your teeth that can wear down the enamel.

Please reach out to our dental practice in Mission Viejo, CA, to have a consultation with our dentist, Dr. Lee, or call us at (949) 380-0315.

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