This is Why Your Teeth are so Sensitive and How to Fight It

Sep 28, 2015
This is Why Your Teeth are so Sensitive and How to Fight It
Eating a spoonful of your favorite ice cream or sipping on a hot cup of coffee is supposed to be an enjoyable experience. Then, you’re suddenly hit with a sharp, painful sensation that spreads through your teeth...

Don’t Let Your Teeth Suffer from this Crippling Sensation

Eating a spoonful of your favorite ice cream or sipping on a hot cup of coffee is supposed to be an enjoyable experience. Then, you’re suddenly hit with a sharp, painful sensation that spreads through your teeth. This same sensation may also rear its head whenever you brush or floss your teeth. This means you are suffering from tooth sensitivity.

Luckily, about 50% of the population suffers from this uncomfortable condition, so you’re not alone. While this condition is fairly common, there are some instances where an overly-sensitive set of teeth can be signaling you of an underlying dental issue. Nevertheless, the first step to eliminating this sensation is to learn what causes it in the first place. At Beaufils Dental, we offer treatment options and friendly tips to help combat tooth sensitivity.

Learn how you can transform a painful and inconvenient condition into one that you can control.

Why Are My Teeth So Sensitive?

There are a number of oral health factors that trigger tooth sensitivity, but all of these reasons stem from one cause: the exposure of the tooth’s dentin.

This soft layer of the tooth covers the nerve and contains a number of tubes (“tubules”) that run from the outside of the tooth to the nerve and are filled with fluid. When the dentin is exposed, these tubes become sensitive to changes in temperature (i.e hot or cold foods), triggering a temporary pain and stinging discomfort in the tooth or teeth.

Some common reasons why you may be experiencing tooth sensitivity include:

  • Forceful tooth brushing: Brushing with excessive force may be wearing down the protective layer of your teeth, exposing the nerves underneath. The bristles on your toothbrush may also be too hard in general for your teeth.
  • Using mouthwash excessively: Using mouthwash is a positive step towards maintaining your oral health, but using too much of it can take a toll on your tooth enamel. Certain mouthwashes contain chemicals that can increase tooth sensitivity, especially if the tooth’s dentin is already exposed.
  • Consuming acidic foods/drinks: The acidic content in the foods and drinks you consume can play a role in increasing the sensitivity in your teeth. Tooth sensitivity is common amongst people who suffer from acid reflux.
  • Gum disease: Periodontal disease, if left untreated, can cause significant damage to tissue that supports teeth (not to mention that it increases the risk of other serious health conditions). If your teeth have increased in sensitivity over time, this may be a prevalent sign of gum disease.
  • Plaque: Poor oral hygiene results in a build-up of plaque, which begins to chip away at your enamel and leaves your teeth unprotected from sensitivity. Routine tooth brushing and flossing can keep you from building excessive amounts of plaque.

Additional Methods to Decrease Tooth Sensitivity

At Beaufils Dental, we advise our patients to consult with us in the event of tooth sensitivity. Depending on the cause, we can advise steps that can be taken to lessen the degree of sensitivity, such as:

  • Switching out your toothbrush for one with softer bristles to lessen the impact on your teeth and gums
  • Limiting your intake of acidic foods
  • Switch your mouthwash for one that contains desensitizing agents that numb the nerve endings and strengthen tooth enamel

Additional options for battling tooth sensitivity include:

Desensitizing toothpaste: This at-home approach to battling tooth sensitivity requires a few uses to take effect. Nevertheless, desensitizing toothpaste can help intercept the sensation that travels from the tooth before it reaches the nerve. While this option may not be suitable for everyone, the team at Beaufils Dental can help determine if desensitizing toothpaste will lessen the degree of your stinging discomfort.

Desensitizing toothpaste

In-office treatment: Again, this depends on the root cause for discomfort, but tooth sensitivity can sometimes be a cause of a larger oral health issue. In these cases, Beaufils Dental can perform an evaluation to determine the root case. We like to keep clients informed on options available to them to help improve their oral health–as well as the consequences that may occur if their condition is left untreated.

Don’t Let Tooth Sensitivity Hold You Back!

If you find that you cannot consume your favorite hot or cold food/drinks- let alone even brush and floss- without extreme discomfort, this is a sign of extreme tooth sensitivity. It can also be a red flag of a more serious oral health condition that requires care and attention. If you are in the Cooper City area and are facing any degree of tooth sensitivity, there are ways to treat this condition!

The team at Beaufils Dental understands that sensitive teeth can interfere with everyday life. Most importantly, it affects the quality of your oral health. Call Beaufils Dental today at 954-252-1390 or schedule an appointment online for more information on how to combat tooth sensitivity and emerge with a shining, pain-free smile.