Causes and Treatments for Sensitive Teeth

There’s a product for just about anything these days, and sensitive teeth are no exception! Check out the oral health aisle at your local supermarket or flip through the channels on your TV, and you’re likely to find a variety of toothpaste aimed at anyone suffering from sensitive teeth. This is good news, though, since sensitive teeth affect as many as 1 in 8 Americans. Let’s look at the causes and treatments for sensitive teeth and how Accent Smile Center can help!

We know how frustrating sensitivity can be, no matter how common it is. We see our fair share of patients dealing with this issue, and we’re here to help! If you’re in braces and struggle with sensitive teeth, keep reading to learn more about what could be causing it and how you can get some relief!

What causes sensitivity in the teeth?

Multiple factors may contribute to teeth sensitivity, but exposed nerve endings often cause it. This can cause a lower tolerance for various foods and temperatures and specific pressure levels. The symptoms can range from a mild ache when eating ice cream to severe pain from biting down. Sensitivity is most noticeable when the teeth:

  • are exposed to something hotter or colder than normal
  • are exposed to something sweeter or more sour than normal
  • have deep cavities or exposed root surfaces present

Thinning tooth enamel is another leading cause of tooth sensitivity. The enamel helps keep our teeth strong, but when we fail to remove plaque and bacteria properly, they can begin to break down that enamel. Poor brushing and flossing techniques or oral hygiene, in general, can cause the enamel to thin out. This weakens the teeth over time, exposing them more susceptible to sensitivity. 

On the other hand, brushing too vigorously can wear down the gum tissue, causing the gum line to recede. This reveals the more porous root surfaces and areas of the teeth that are generally not exposed. This kind of over-brushing is the most common cause of tooth sensitivity, and it can sometimes cause severe pain.

Find an excellent oral hygiene routine and stick to it

A solid dental hygiene routine should always be a priority, but it’s especially important when dealing with tooth sensitivity! Taking good care of your teeth and gums is often the first line of defense against oral issues. 

If you’re wearing braces, you probably already know that it can be a challenge to keep your teeth completely clean. Slacking on brushing and flossing can wear enamel or sensitivity around the gum line. The build-up of tartar and bacteria can also increase the risk of exposed nerves. A healthy mouth can reduce your risk of developing dental problems, including sensitivity!

So what happens if you develop tooth sensitivity despite your best efforts? First, choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush gently but firmly to avoid any abrasions and gum recession. Certain kinds of toothpaste can help decrease nerve sensitivity, as well. Keep in mind that it can take a week or two of regular use to notice a difference in how sensitive your teeth are.

Causes and Treatments for Sensitive Teeth

Get back to the basics

If you experience any pain or sensitivity following your dental visits, speak with Dr. Gatgens about over-the-counter pain relief. You can also try home remedies, like salt rinses. Dissolve a teaspoon or two of salt in a cup of warm water, then swish it around in your mouth a few times. This is a simple and effective way to relieve oral discomfort! 

If you find yourself dealing with tooth sensitivity that persists for more than a few days, don’t hesitate to contact our team for additional advice. We’ll be happy to recommend other care, whether at home or in our Dickson office. In the meantime, follow these guidelines to help reduce sensitivity symptoms: 

  • Be vigilant about brushing and flossing thoroughly and regularly.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently. 
  • Try toothpaste explicitly designed for sensitive teeth (and give it at least two weeks to begin working!)
  • Make a saltwater rinse to combat discomfort.
  • Check in with our office if sensitivity or pain persists.

Find a more comfortable smile with Accent Smile Center

Don’t let sensitivity get in the way of your oral hygiene! If you find yourself dealing with sensitive teeth, our team is always here to help. We’ll help you get to the root of the problem and discuss the best options to help you get your smile back.  

Having sensitive teeth shouldn’t get in the way of enjoying life to the fullest. By making just a few minor adjustments to your oral hygiene routine, you’ll be able to reduce the chances of developing sensitive teeth while keeping your smile healthy. 

We understand that it can be tough dealing with mouth pain and sensitivity. If you need a little encouragement or advice, don’t hesitate to reach out! The expert team here at Accent Smile Center wants your smile to succeed on every level. To learn more about combating sensitive teeth, get in touch to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gatgens. We’re here to help!