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What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is not fun! Especially when it keeps you from enjoying certain foods or beverages.

Have you ever wondered what might be causing the sensitivity? Here are some common causes:

 

1. Post-Dental Treatment

dental treatment

Sometimes after certain dental treatments, like fillings, bleaching or crowns, it’s common to have some tooth sensitivity. This type of sensitivity is typically temporary and very common. If the sensitivity seems to last longer than your dentist tells you, it’s smart to make a follow-up appointment.

2. Gum Recession

gum disease

Gum disease causes your gums to recede, leaving more of your tooth exposed. This can expose the root of your tooth, leading to painful sensitivity.

3. Teeth Grinding

teeth grinding mouth guard

If you grind your teeth at night, you may notice that your teeth are sensitive. This is because grinding your teeth can wear down the protective enamel-layer of your tooth. Your dentist can help you by getting you a custom-fit mouth guard to help protect your teeth at night.

4. Acidic Foods and Beverages

lemon acidic food tooth decay

Certain foods like tomatoes, pineapples, lemons, grapefruits–and drinks like coffee or citrus fruit juices–can cause tooth erosion because of the high level of acidity in the food or drink. When you eat or drink things that are highly acidic, make sure to drink lots of water to help wash away the acidity.

5. Worn Tooth Enamel

tooth enamel dentin chart anatomy of tooth

Brushing your teeth too hard, or using a toothbrush with bristles that are not soft enough, can lead to worn tooth enamel. Having a lot a built-up plaque can also wear the enamel of your teeth. It’s important to visit the dentist every 6 months so they can help keep your plaque in check. If you’re worried about brushing too hard, ask your dentist to show you how to properly brush your teeth and what kind of toothbrush he or she recommends.

6. Cracked Teeth

cracked tooth image cartoon

Having a cracked tooth can be very painful and cause a lot of sensitivity! Cracked teeth can range from minor to serious and can be treated in a few different ways. Are you worried you may have a cracked tooth? Read our blog post here to find out!

7. Tooth Decay or Old Fillings

visit the dentist tooth hurts filling

If you have very old dental fillings and tooth sensitivity, it may be time for a new filling! Old fillings can “leak”, making a great place for bacteria to thrive, and plaque to build-up. This erosion can expose the sensitive and soft part of the tooth called dentin. If you think you need a new filling, schedule an appointment with your dentist so the problem doesn’t persist or get worse!

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