Tooth sensitivity is one of the chief complaints dental offices receive. It results when gums recede and expose the tooth roots. Tubules in the tooth roots lead directly to the tooth’s nerve, allowing stimuli such as hot or cold to reach the nerve and cause the associated pain. Several factors contribute to gum recession, including:
Brushing Technique – Brushing aggressively or with a hard-bristled brush can wear down the tooth enamel and expose the sensitive layers of dentin. Improper brushing can also damage the gum tissue and expose tooth roots.
Cracked Teeth – Even small cracks in tooth enamel can fill with bacteria, irritate the pulp, and cause tooth sensitivity.
Teeth Grinding – Over time, teeth grinding can lead to enamel erosion and hairline fractures.
Gum Disease – The leading cause of gum recession and tooth loss, gum disease eats away gum tissue and leaves tooth roots vulnerable to outside stimuli.
Age – Tooth sensitivity is typically highest between ages 25 and 30.
Tips for Tougher Teeth
Changing your hygiene products and habits can have an enormous impact. Brush with a desensitizing toothpaste and always use a soft-bristled brush. Fluoride rinses can re-mineralize softened areas of tooth enamel and curb sensitivity. Daily flossing and regular dental cleanings will help prevent gum disease, and your dentist can recommend other measures, such as a nightguard for teeth grinding. You don’t have to suffer tooth sensitivity. See your dentist for a thorough diagnosis and long-term solution.