Sensitive teeth: What could be the cause?

Tulsa dentistryDental sensitivity occurs when a nerve is exposed to hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and/or beverages. Even opening your mouth on a cold day can result in that zinging sensation indicating you need to take action to bring relief. There are dentistry products available that can resolve some sensitivity issues; however, to determine what is causing your discomfort, a visit with your dentist should be scheduled.

As we age the protective enamel covering our teeth could start wearing away. This can be the result of:

Teeth grinding – This action often begins during periods of sleep. Damage can occur without your knowledge. Maintaining regular dental visits allows your dental provider to note this activity and advise you to wear a night guard to prevent further damage.

Harsh brushing – Teeth do not need to be scrubbed with a hard bristle tooth brush and excessive pressure. While preventing plaque build-up is a positive action, keeping plaque controlled can be accomplished just as easily with a soft bristle tooth brush, a fluoridated tooth paste or gel, and a daily oral hygiene plan that includes brushing for two minutes at least twice each day and flossing to remove particles your tooth brush did not reach.

Worn enamel also allows dental decay to occur as bacteria permeate the tooth that is no longer protected. A broken tooth or hairline crack can expose the nerve of a tooth. Gum recession is also a common cause for sensitivity. The onset of gum disease can trigger this pain as well.

Temporary sensitivity may occur following certain dental procedures including teeth whitening or a new restoration.

Your dentist can identify the source of your discomfort; many problems can be resolved without the need for a dental restoration. The world of dentistry has developed many products that will help to reduce sensitivity with regular use.

There are tooth pastes, gels, and rinses that when used consistently will help resolve sensitivity. These products contain a desensitizer that work by closing the tubes that run from the dentin (the layer under the tooth’s enamel that is now exposed due to worn or fractured enamel) to the nerve of the tooth.

By desensitizing these nerve endings, sensitivity is halted. If over the counter products don’t help, our dental team can apply a stronger product, a fluoride varnish, or repair the exposed area with a tooth colored resin. To learn more, contact Howl Dental at 918-749-1626 and schedule your visit today.