Why Are My Teeth So Sensitive?
If taking a swig of ice-cold water makes you recoil, it’s likely due to your sensitive teeth. What causes this unpleasant reaction? There are several reasons you may need treatment for sensitive teeth.
Tooth sensitivity is usually influenced by the soft inner tissue beneath the enamel of your tooth called dentin. When extreme temperatures irritate the tooth nerve, you’ll feel a tingling sensation and sometimes pain.
Another cause of tooth sensitivity is when tiny tubes of fluid in the dentin become exposed. Sometimes this occurs due to receding gums lines or damaged teeth. If this happens, pain can be triggered by foods that are too hot or cold, too sweet or acidic, or simply from contact or exposure to air.
Temporary tooth sensitivity can also be caused by whitening or orthodontic treatments. This type of sensitivity will often dissipate in a couple weeks. However, in severe cases, the tooth nerve itself may be exposed. This causes severe pain and irritation and will require immediate treatment.
What Can I Do to Treat Tooth Sensitivity?
If your teeth are becoming increasingly sensitive, contact our office for immediate care. Our team will likely screen for underlying causes requiring treatment. We’ll also be able to recommend the best method to manage your discomfort.
How Can I Prevent Teeth Sensitivity?
Oversensitivity in teeth can sometimes be prevented. Try to avoid hard-bristled toothbrushes and don’t brush too aggressively. Brushing too hard can damage enamel and expose other sensitive areas. Additionally, wearing a mouthguard while playing contact sports protects teeth from trauma. Teeth will become more sensitive after being chipped or cracked.
After you rule out serious underlying conditions, you can start to managed mildly sensitive teeth with a special toothpaste designed to decrease sensitivity. If that doesn’t provide enough relief, ask about a prescription product.
Contact our office to schedule an appointment with our periodontist in Alexandria if you suffer from any level of tooth sensitivity and we will get you the help you need.
Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS
Phone: (703) 894-4867
2500 N. Van Dorn St., Suite 128
Alexandria, VA 22302