Why do you have Sensitive Teeth?
Sensitive teeth, also known as dentine hypersensitivity is the sensation felt when the nerves inside the dentin of the teeth are exposed to the environment. The sensation can range from irritation all the way to intense, shooting pain. This sensitivity can be caused by several factors, including wear, decaying teeth or exposed tooth roots.
Our hard outer parts of our teeth are mostly made up of dentin, which is covered in an enamel substance. The enamel substance acts as a sealant for the dentin, which contains lots of tiny holes that feed through to the sensitive inner pulp area of our teeth.
It is when the enamel is worn away or the tooth root is revealed via a receding gum that the dentin is revealed and sensitivity occurs. The level of sensitivity you experience will depend on the amount of erosion that has occurred.
Teeth sensitivity generally results from;
- exposing them to cold air
- hot or cold drinks
- hot or cold foods
- sudden temperature changes
- touching or brushing at the gum margin.
What causes sensitive teeth?
Gum Disease (Gingivitis)
When gum tissue becomes inflamed and weakened from gingivitis (gum disease), you may feel tooth sensitivity because more of the underlying dentine root surface is exposed.
Brushing Too Hard
Dental hygiene habits such as brushing too frequently, too vigorously or with a hard-bristled toothbrush can eventually wear down tooth enamel. These can also cause receding gums, causing further exposure of the dentine.
If you teeth grind when you sleep, or if you clench your teeth throughout the day, you may be wearing down enamel and exposing the underlying dentine layer of your tooth.
A receding gum can expose the dentine and create sensitive areas
Sweet or acidic foods and liquids.
Constant exposure to sugar and acids can start to break down the enamel on your teeth. Regular brushing will help alleviate some of this issue, but the best option is to avoid having too many of these kinds of foods and drinks.
In order to be sure your tooth sensitivity is not the result of a more serious condition, such as gingivitis (gum disease), it’s a good idea to make an appointment to stop the sensitivity and avoid further dental decay or damage.