I have sensitive teeth
- In order to best treat your sensitivity, it helps to know the cause
- Sensitivity may be caused by exposed root surfaces, cracks in the teeth, or dry mouth
- Sensitivity could be a sign of a bacterial infectionon your teeth (caries)
- Products including fluoride, xylitol, and pH+ therapies may help
What causes sensitive teeth?
Millions of patients are affected by sensitivity, which often decreases the effectiveness of professional and home cleaning, and prevents enjoyment of many foods. Sensitivity can be caused by a number of things:
- Dental disease, or cavities, in need of restoration or root canal
- Exposed root surfaces
- Clenching or grinding
- Enamel abrasion due to abrasive toothpastes and overly firm toothbrushes
- Acid erosion due to acidic diet, acid reflux disease, and/or frequent vomiting
- Poor fitting or deteriorating dental work
Your teeth have pores in the enamel, just like your skin. These pores lead into the teeth and ultimately influence nerves contained within the tooth. If these pores are opened, exposed, or infected, they provide direct access to stimulation of this nerve. An important note about the nerves in your teeth: they primarily feel one sensation. . . PAIN!
- It is important to consult a dentist in order to identify the cause of your sensitivity so you can adequately treat it.
- Be aware of products that contain excess abrasives or are acidic as they may contribute to the problem.
- Fluoride products can help insulate the nerve by forming crystals over the open pores in the enamel.
- Products that can neutralize an acidic oral environment may reduce sensitivity.