Have you ever suffered from the sensation of “brain freeze” just from drinking a glass of water? Is ice cream almost unbearable because it hurts your teeth? Overall, tooth sensitivity can lead to this feeling and more. Tooth sensitivity can come from plenty of wrongdoings. These are the most common places where tooth sensitivity stems from.
1. Teeth whitening
Teeth have a hard outer layer called enamel and a softer layer inside called dentin. Dentin has nerves. Exposed dentin is sensitive. Tooth whitening temporarily makes enamel more permeable, which exposes dentin. Teeth whitening trays move your teeth and can, therefore, cause pain as well. Whitening gels can cause chemical burns on gums. If a tray is poorly fabricated, it will allow the whitening gel to leak out and onto the gums causing irritation. All of these examples can be painful but can also be prevented and treated.
2. Tooth decay
Tooth decay causes a number of problems in the mouth. Tooth sensitivity is just one of them. It starts as a cavity but can lead to gingivitis or receding gums. Sensitivity is one of the minor aches associated with tooth decay. Brush, floss and visit your dentist to avoid any further problems.
3. Brushing your teeth too hard
Brushing too hard can wear away teeth enamel. A common case of brushing too hard is after getting braces removed. Brushing with braces can be difficult when trying to reach small spaces behind the metal. Sometimes braces are on for more than a year, causing the habit of brushing hard to rid of trapped food. After this habit develops, it can be difficult to remember to lighten up once the braces are removed. Some people happen to be chronic hard- brushers or may have a toothbrush with hard bristles. To reduce this, buy a softer toothbrush or wet under warm water to soften before using it.
4. Grinding your teeth
Grinding teeth wears down tooth enamel, which exposes the tooth’s nerves. This creates a throbbing tooth pain. Grinding of the teeth usually happens during sleep without even realizing it. In order to reduce the risk of nerve exposure, a dentist will suggest wearing a mouth guard overnight, which will protect the tooth and enamel.
5. Certain dental products
I mentioned that teeth whitening can make teeth sensitive. Whitening toothpaste may do the same thing. Most of the time, the ingredients are safer, so toothpaste is not a real risk; but if tooth sensitivity occurs, ask your dentist if the toothpaste may be causing it. Old toothbrushes can play a role in tooth sensitivity. Bristles either wear away and harder brushing occurs, or the bristles get caked with old toothpaste and harden up. Remember to replace toothbrush at least every 4 months in order to resolve this.
Teeth sensitivity may be a warning to a much larger issue, like tooth decay. However, it is commonly an easily treatable situation if attention is brought to it earlier. If pain increases, consult a dentist to uncover the underlying reason for the sensitivity.