Tooth Sensitivity (Sensitive Teeth)
Tooth sensitivity is a pain affecting one or many teeth, which is stimulated by heat, cold, sweets, or even breathing in cold air.
- Vigorous brushing; brushing the teeth with excessive force wears away the enamel of teeth and causes tooth sensitivity.
- Gingival recession; the gum level recedes, due to periodontitis, or even a vigorous brushing, exposing the root and making the tooth sensitive.
- Gingivitis; an inflammation of the gum that can become less attached, exposing the root.
- Fracture; a crack or a fracture of a tooth can expose the dentin.
- Grinding the teeth; bruxism wears down the enamel.
- Tooth whitening; tooth whitening products can cause a temporary sensitivity to the teeth. The sensitivity disappears once the treatment is finished.
- Mouthwashes; certain mouthwashes are acidic and long term use of them can wear away the enamel of the tooth.
- Acidic diet; foods high in acid content, such as soft drinks, citric fruits, or ice-tea, wear away the enamel if consumed excessively.
- Recent dental treatments, including fillings, or tartar scaling, root canals or crowns, can cause sensitivity to the restored tooth for a few weeks.
- Maintaining a good oral hygiene by using a proper brushing technique and flossing.
- Using a toothbrush with soft or ultra-soft bristles.
- Reducing the consumption of acidic foods.
- Avoiding grinding the teeth, by wearing a bite splint when needed.
- Going to the dentist for regular dental exams.
- Non-acidic mouthwashes containing fluoride.
- Fillings to cover worn away enamel or the receded root.
- More severe symptoms or a persistent sensitivity can necessitate other treatments.
Dental and oral problems
WebMD, better information, better health (www.webmd.com).
Last update: 29th of May 2008.