Do you have sensitive front teeth?
Whether the sensitivity has been there for a while or has just recently revealed itself, that quick sharp “zing” of pain is not something that can be ignored. What’s worse is that the pain can disrupt your enjoyment of certain foods and beverages or make it difficult to function altogether.
But what causes tooth sensitivity, and how can you make sensitive teeth feel normal again?
What’s inside this blog:
- Where tooth sensitivity stems from
- Multiple reasons why you might experience tooth sensitivity
- How you can combat pain from sensitive teeth
Eager for your tooth sensitivity to go away? Read on!
🧐 Tooth Sensitivity Explained 🧐
Tooth sensitivity is when your teeth react to extreme cold or extreme heat. They may also react to extreme sweetness or extreme bitterness — but the reaction is always a painful one.
The pain also varies based on the extent of the tooth sensitivity. Some people react with a slight twinge when experiencing one or more of these extremes, while others will feel significant pain in their sensitive teeth. That pain can also disappear as quickly as it came or last for a few hours.
Generally speaking, tooth sensitivity occurs when the tooth enamel starts thinning out. Tooth enamel is the hard shell on the outermost layer of your teeth, and it’s there to protect all of the living parts of your tooth (such as the dentin and pulp).
Thinning tooth enamel can be caused by one of two things:
- Tooth erosion
Regardless of the initial cause, when you have tooth sensitivity, you’ll want to address it right away. If you allow your dentin and pulp to become exposed, you could wind up with an infection and even lose your teeth.
🦷 Reasons Why You Have Sensitive Teeth 🦷
Tooth decay and erosion aren’t the only reasons you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity — although they are the biggest culprits.
If you notice that you’re teeth hurt only recently, it may be due to one of these potential scenarios:
- You’re not brushing or flossing regularly. If you aren’t taking care of your oral hygiene as you should, then you’re allowing bacteria and plaque to build up on your teeth. This build-up leads to tarter, which weakens the tooth enamel, leading to cavities, gum disease, and tooth sensitivity.
- You’re not brushing properly. Do you find that you’re scrubbing your teeth hard? If so, you may be manually wearing down your tooth enamel. You want to brush your teeth gently to avoid damaging your enamel and gums. So, make sure you’re using a soft-bristled toothbrush and that you’re not overdoing it.
- You’re using the wrong toothpaste. It’s always best to use fluoride toothpaste or nano hydroxyapatite (nHA) toothpaste, as both ingredients work to strengthen your tooth enamel which reduces sensitivity. There are also toothpastes specifically designed to reduce tooth sensitivity, and you’ll want to be wary of whitening toothpastes as they can sometimes be harsh on tooth enamel as they work to penetrate and remove stains.
- You’re on certain medications. There are certain medications out there that can reduce some of the important minerals in the body, including the very minerals that naturally strengthen your tooth enamel. As a result, you may wind up with sensitive teeth. If the tooth sensitivity gets bad, you’ll need to speak with your doctor about your other options.
- It’s in your genetics. Sometimes, sensitive teeth just run in the family. If you have a genetic condition that causes your teeth to develop improperly or have a thinner layer of enamel, you may just be prone to tooth sensitivity.
- You have gum disease. Once again, if you’re not taking care of your oral hygiene as you should, you could end up with a bacteria overload that causes your gums to swell and bleed. Oftentimes, bleeding gums is a result of gingivitis, which can progress into irreversible gum disease and cause all kinds of damage to your teeth and mouth. The bacteria itself is what causes tooth sensitivity, and it’s not something you want to neglect.
- You grind your teeth. Whether you suffer from bruxism or are simply stressed, you may be grinding your teeth without even realizing it. Grinding your teeth essentially grinds away the enamel, slowly exposing the inner workings of your teeth over time. This will undoubtedly cause tooth sensitivity as well as jaw pain. It can also cause cracked teeth down the line if you’re not careful.
🪥 How to Deal With Tooth Sensitivity 🪥
If you have sensitive teeth, regardless of the reason, there are a number of things you can do to find relief.
Here are some top tips for managing your tooth sensitivity:
- Use the right toothpaste. As mentioned above, there are certain toothpastes to use and to avoid. If you have especially sensitive teeth, it’s a good idea to switch over to a toothpaste that’s specifically designed for sensitive teeth as it works to fill the tiny holes in your enamel and dentin to reduce nerve exposure.
- Wear a mouthguard at night. If you grind your teeth, it’s a good idea to visit your dentist to see if you can get a mold made of your teeth for a custom mouth guard. This will protect against the pressure and grinding caused by bruxism and provide you with relief throughout the day.
- Use a saltwater rinse. Making a salt water rinse to use throughout the day can also provide you with relief if you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, as it will help to balance the pH levels inside of your mouth. This will help to reduce bacterial growth, plaque, and swelling.
- Avoid problematic foods. There are certain foods and drinks — usually sugary and acidic foods and drinks — that will increase tooth sensitivity. This often includes coffee, certain fruits, soda, pickled foods, and of course, candy. It’s also a good idea to avoid hot and frozen foods to reduce your tooth sensitivity when eating and drinking.
Say Goodbye to Sensitive Front Teeth Today
Above all, if you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, the first thing you want to do is visit your dentist for an oral exam. They’ll be able to find the root of the issue and provide you with options and care tips to help you reverse the issue.
Book your dental exam with the dental professionals at Wayzata Dental today. We’ll answer all of your questions and put your mind at ease about your sensitive front teeth.