In this blog on sensitive teeth, we will look at the following:
- What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
- Does Teeth Sensitivity Get Worse With Age?
- How To Get Rid Of Teeth Sensitivity
- Tips On How To Prevent Teeth Sensitivity
- Where To Get Help For Teeth Sensitivity
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
Sensitive teeth have two primary causes: worn tooth enamel or an exposed part of the tooth root from inflammation or infection. These issues may arise for a variety of reasons, including:
- Existing cavities or tooth decay.
- Post-dental procedure.
- Teeth grinding (bruxism).
- Periodontal disease (gum disease).
- You brush your teeth too hard.
- Consuming too many acidic foods and drinks.
- Over teeth-whitening.
- Loose fillings.
- Acid Reflux (GERD).
- Certain medications (antibiotics, aspirin, antihistamines).
Along with these possible causes, factors like pregnancy or other hormonal changes can contribute to tooth sensitivity by increasing blood flow to the gums. Before you read further, it’s essential to always consult with your dentist if you’re experiencing ongoing tooth sensitivity so they can determine the cause and intervene early on.
Does Teeth Sensitivity Get Worse With Age?
As you age, certain factors may contribute to an increase in tooth sensitivity, such as gumline recession or dry mouth, which are common with aging. Gum inflammation over time can lead to gum recession. This can allow the soft root tissue to become more exposed and teeth to become prone to sensitivity.
Likewise, many medications can cause dry mouth as a common side effect. Dry mouth can contribute to the development of dental caries (cavities). By decreasing the amount of saliva flow that aids in washing away food particles and plaque, you become at higher risk of cavities- contributing to worn enamel and tooth sensitivity.
How To Get Rid Of Teeth Sensitivity
Several dental treatments are available to reduce or eliminate teeth sensitivity, including a root canal or tooth filling. That said, teeth sensitivity doesn’t always warrant a professional procedure. Your dentist may recommend treating the issue at home using desensitizing toothpaste or a mouthguard. In the case of persistent tooth sensitivity, the following treatments may be recommended to resolve the problem:
Fluoride varnish strengthens tooth enamel, decreases sensitivity, and reduces pain. Along with professional treatment, you can use at-home fluoride for ongoing treatment. “Sensitivity” toothpaste can add an additional layer of protection as it contains additional ingredients to prevent sensitivity.
During a tooth filling, your dentist removes the decaying portion of your tooth, which is causing the sensitivity, cleans the area, and applies filling material to seal the hole.
Gum grafting can address sensitivity due to gum tissue loss by taking a small amount of tissue from elsewhere and attaching it to cover exposed tooth roots.
Dental bonding can be used to repair exposed roots. A protective layer of bonding resin is applied to the exposed root, which seals the root surface and prevents sensitivity.
In the case of an infection of the tooth root, a root canal removes the infected pulp and nerve, cleans the canal, and then places a crown on the root to seal and protect it from future infection.
Tips On How To Prevent Teeth Sensitivity
To keep your teeth and gums strong and sensitivity-free, consider the following dental tips:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid brushing too hard.
- Use desensitizing toothpaste (AZ Family Dental prescribes a toothpaste called Fluoridex for sensitive teeth).
- Seek treatment if you grind your teeth (bruxism).
- See your dentist every six months to maintain a cavity-free mouth and address other dental problems like a loose filling.
- Avoid over-whitening your teeth.
- Reduce exposure to hot, cold, or crunchy foods; use lukewarm water when brushing.
- Consult with your doctor about medication side effects.
The key to treating sensitive teeth is caring for oral health. Of course, some situations are inevitable, such as post-procedure or pregnancy side effects. Worn tooth enamel and tooth root exposure are still the leading causes of tooth sensitivity and can be addressed by your dentist.
Where To Get Help For Teeth Sensitivity
AZ Family Dental offers several treatments to reduce sensitivity in your teeth, including fluoride, bonding, crowns, inlays, and root canals.
Schedule an appointment with one of our dental professionals today to determine the best course of action for your teeth sensitivity.