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The Causes of Sensitive Teeth & How You Can Fix Yours

Tooth sensitivity can be painful, and this discomfort can be caused by eating hot or cold meals, sweet or sour foods, or even by taking a deep breath on winter days. The pain is horrible, and it hits you right in the nerves of your teeth.

What Causes Your High Amount of Pain?

When dentin erodes, it makes for very sensitive teeth. There is a layer named enamel that protects dentin. The gum protects all these tiny tubules that connect to the tooth interior, the nerves, and if it gets damaged, it will make an easy path for hot, cold, sweet, and sour to pass through the tubules, making us feel this huge amount of pain.

Of course, there are many factors that help destroy the enamel, but these are some of the main causes:

  • Having the teeth brushed too hard. Doing this often can make your enamel weaker each day, which leads to having your teeth roots exposed.
  • Rotten teeth, which can damage your gums.
  • Stagnation of your gums or having a periodontal disease, which can cause the pulp to be exposed.
  • Having a gum disease like gingivitis, which can make your teeth sensitive due to the loss of supporting ligaments caused by sore and inflamed gums.
  • Broken teeth due to the release of bacteria into the pulp.
  • Whitening products.
  • Aging.
  • Having too much plaque.
  • Mouthwash products, many of which contain certain acids that are harmful to your dentin (if you already have sensitive teeth, using this kind of product can make your condition a lot worse than it is, so ask your dentist for a fluoride-free solution).
  • Food that is very acidic such as pickles, tea, and pineapple can make your enamel erode.
  • Recent dental check-ups, which can cause sensitivity for as long as six weeks after your visit.

How to Reduce Your Tooth Sensitivity

There are a couple of things you should consider if you want to reduce your sensitivity, but here is a brief list of what you should do to reduce your pain:

  • Have a proper technique for brushing your teeth, passing through your entire mouth, and finish with floss at least twice a day.
  • Use a toothbrush that is soft and try not to brutally brush around your gums to prevent damaging your enamel.
  • There are some toothpaste brands that provide help to those who have sensitive teeth, otherwise known as desensitizing toothpaste; after using one of these, you may notice a decrease in your sensitivity, though you might have to try different ones until you find one suitable for your case.
  • Avoid foods with high amounts of acid.
  • Use dental products with good amounts of fluoride. This will make your sensitivity decrease. If you need help finding products with the right amount of fluoride, ask your dentist for advice.
  • Avoid grinding your teeth; if this is a nightly problem of yours, use a mouthguard when you go to sleep.

Have regular dental check-ups every six months to have your teeth cleaned as well, and you should notice less sensitive teeth.

Infographics - The Causes of Sensitive Teeth & How Your Can Fix Yours

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About Dr. Samuel Kwon

Dr. Kwon graduated from the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in 2004. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business from UCLA. Dr. Kwon has been practing dentistry for over 10 years at his practice in Puyallup, WA.

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