Sensitive Teeth & Common Causes

Posted on Nov 07, 2012 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Ice-cream, hot coffee, steamy cocoa, or chilly chocolate pudding. If any of these send a shiver down your back from anticipating a jolt of pain in your mouth, then you likely have tooth sensitivity.

Some sensitivity is caused by exposed tooth roots. This often occurs from over-zealous brushing or using a toothpaste that is too abrasive (such as baking soda – NEVER use this on teeth!). If you use a whitening toothpaste, a key ingredient – sodium pyrophosphate – can increase tooth sensitivity. Sensitivity can also occur from receded gums caused by periodontal disease.

Another cause of sensitive teeth is the development of tiny fractures. When hot or cold seeps through these fractures to a tooth’s interior, nerves in the inner pulp react, painfully.

To lessen or halt tooth sensitivity, use a toothpaste made especially for sensitive teeth. You should also use a soft bristle toothbrush to avoid the wearing away of tender gum tissues around teeth.

It’s time to seek treatment when a tooth is sensitive for 3 – 4 days. Because sensitivity can occur for different reasons, it is important to have a tooth (or teeth) checked to determine the true cause.

If you have questions about tooth pain, call (828) 274-9440. Because EVERYONE should be able to enjoy ice-cream!

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