Sensitivity is a term that is used to describe a broad range of dental problems. In most cases, mild or occasional tooth sensitivity is more of an annoyance than a true problem. A desensitizing toothpaste product such as Sensodyne should help to keep you comfortable, but if you’ve been using sensitivity-formula toothpaste for 4 or more weeks with no improvement, then it’s time to see a Smithfield dentist.
The makers of sensitivity-formula toothpastes warn against using their products for more than 4 weeks if you aren’t feeling better because the source of your sensitivity could be signaling a more serious dental concern. Here are 10 of the most common causes of sensitive teeth:
- Aggressive brushing habits and/or toothbrush bristles that are too hard.
- Eating or drinking acidic foods and beverages like citrus fruits, coffee, juices, and sports drinks.
- Grinding or clenching the teeth, a disorder known as bruxism.
- Use of a whitening toothpaste.
- Overuse of mouthwash.
- Gum disease, receding gums.
- Poor oral hygiene.
- Recent dental treatment such as fillings, crowns.
- Teeth whitening (at home or in the dental office).
- A cracked tooth, a leaking filling, deep dental decay.
Natural teeth that are healthy are covered with a strong, smooth layer of enamel, but under a microscope, the surface of the teeth looks more like a honeycomb. The enamel is actually porous and contains tiny tubules that lead towards the delicate dental nerve. The root surface of the tooth is not covered by enamel and is even more porous and sensitive than the upper portion of the tooth. When the root surface, the tubules, or the inner layers of the teeth are exposed to stimuli like extreme temperature or sweets, you are likely to experience some degree of sensitivity.
If your tooth sensitivity is unmanageable or has persisted for more than 4 weeks, contact a dentist in Smithfield for an appointment today.