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Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?
Posted on 09/03/2018

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?


Ever drink something cold, or even breathe in cold air and have your tooth hurt? At Acker, Lehninger & Holbrook, tooth sensitivity is one of the most common complaints we get from our Venice, FL, area patients when they visit us for their regular dental hygiene appointments. At least 40 million adults suffer from sensitive teeth in the United States, according to the Academy of General Dentistry.


The sometimes painful sensation you get is caused by the movement of fluid within tiny tubes located in the dentin (the layer of tissue found beneath the hard enamel that contains the inner pulp), which results in nerve irritation. If your hard enamel is worn down or your gums have receded, these tiny tube surfaces can become exposed. The pain is often sharp and sudden, but it is temporary. Fortunately, sensitive teeth can be treated and the condition can improve.


What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?


Having sensitive teeth can be caused by several reasons. Here are some of the most common causes:

  1. Hard brushing. If you brush with a hard-bristled brush or by pressing too hard on your teeth you could be wearing down your hard protective enamel layer and expose those tiny canals that lead to your dental nerves. When these canals are exposed to extreme temperatures or acidic or sticky foods, you may have pain.

  2. Acidic diet. Eating foods that are high in acids like soft drinks, lemons, apple juice, grapefruit, kiwi, tomato sauce and pickles can cause pain if you have exposed nerves.

  3. Grinding your teeth. Although your tooth enamel is very strong, grinding your teeth can wear down the enamel. This exposes the dentin, or the middle layer of the tooth, which contains the hollow tubes that lead to your nerves.

  4. Tooth-whitening toothpaste. If you use a tooth-whitening toothpaste, be aware that those abrasive ingredients and chemicals that are supposed to whiten your teeth may cause you pain.

  5. Mouthwash. For those who religiously use a mouthwash, you may experience sensitive teeth use to the alcohol and other chemicals that can just make your teeth more sensitive - especially if the dentin is exposed.

  6. Gum disease. As you grow older, your gums naturally recede and as this happens the tiny tubes are exposed and you may have sensitivity. If you develop gingivitis or gum disease, our expert dentists will detail a plan to treat the disease.

  7. Plaque. If you allow plaque to build up on your teeth and around your gums, it can wear away tooth enamel which exposes your teeth to sensitivity.


What Can I Do Relieve The Pain From Sensitive Teeth?


  1. Brush gently. Always use a soft-bristled brush when brushing your teeth and let the bristles to the work. Brush gently. If your bristles are pointing all different directions, you’re likely brushing too hard.

  2. Watch your diet. Avoid high-acid foods in favor of fresh vegetables, beans, herbal teas. Also avoid drinking soft drinks throughout the day.

  3. Try a mouthguard. If you are a teeth grinder at night consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth and save your enamel. Dr. Acker can custom-fit a mouthguard just for you.

  4. Use sensitive Toothpaste. If your whitening toothpaste is causing your sensitive teeth pain, consider switching to a toothpaste with a desensitizing agent. We recommend Sensodyne. Many of their formulas also have a teeth-whitening agent.

  5. Use fluoride rinse. Instead of the mouthwashes that are full of chemicals, consider using a fluoride rinse. And, make sure you are brushing and flossing daily.

  6. Brush & Floss. These two little words are two of the best things you can do to prevent having sensitive teeth. Also visit your Venice, FL, dentist every six months for regular checkups and cleanings.

  7. Dentist Sealants. Our dentists can apply sealants and other desensitizing and filling materials, including fluoride.


Treat Tooth Sensitivity At Your Venice, FL, Dentist


Tooth sensitivity is treatable. If a tooth is highly sensitive for more than three or four days and reacts to hot and cold temperatures, it's best to get a diagnostic evaluation from your Venice, FL, dentist to determine the extent of the problem. Besides the home remedies listed above, there are a variety of things that we can do to help you manage your hypersensitivity - both in the office and that you can do at home. Only an office visit can determine the most likely cause of your tooth sensitivity and the best solution for your particular situation. If you would like to talk to a caring professional about your sensitive teeth, don’t hesitate to call our Venice, FL, office at  941-484-3885. Acker, Lehninger & Holbrook serves children, teens and adults from throughout the Venice, Nokomis, Englewood, and surrounding communities.

Arthur I. Acker, D.M.D. and Nicole R. Lehninger, D.M.D.

  • Arthur I. Acker, D.M.D. and Nicole R. Lehninger, D.M.D, - 200 Capri Isles Blvd., Venice, FL 34192 Phone: 941-484-3885

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