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What Makes My Teeth Sensitive?

by | Sep 12, 2018 | oral hygiene

If you have sensitive teeth, you can relate to approximately 40 million other people in the United States that have the same problem. Unfortunately, you are also all too familiar with the feeling of taking a sip or biting into something hot or cold and getting that quick, sharp pain. If you want to know what makes your teeth so sensitive, and what you can do to stop the pain, WGM Orthodontics has the answers you’re looking for.

Causes Of Tooth Sensitivity

To understand tooth sensitivity, we need to look at what’s outside and inside your tooth. The hard outside layer, called the enamel, is probably the one that we’re most familiar with, since it’s what we see when we look at our teeth as part of the “crown”. Then there’s the “cementum” which usually lies beneath our gums, and functions as the outer layer for the rest of your tooth, down to the root. The enamel and cementum are actually protecting the inside of our tooth, which is comprised of a material called dentin. This dentin contains tiny tubes that are filled with even smaller nerve endings, which makes it extremely sensitive.

When the enamel or cementum wear down, the dentin and all of its nerve endings becomes exposed, meaning it’s very vulnerable to things like hot and cold, and very painful for you. Here are a few things that can cause your enamel or cementum to wear down and cause sensitivity:

  • Tooth decay
  • Acidic foods & drinks
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Brushing your teeth too hard, or using a hard toothbrush
  • Gum recession
  • Post dental/orthodontic treatment (due to the dentin being exposed during treatment)

Sensitivity with Braces & Invisalign

If you’re suffering from sensitivity due to your braces or Invisalign set, it is likely caused by the pressure being applied to your teeth as they move to their new, ideal positioning. This can cause some pain or even make them feel a bit more sensitive. If it becomes too painful, schedule an appointment with your orthodontist at your local WGM Orthodontics office!

Can I Stop The Sensitivity?

The good news is that there are solutions that will help reduce the sensitivity of your teeth, so you can keep enjoying the foods and drinks that you love without having to worry about constant pain with every bite or sip. If you feel any tooth pain, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with a dentist right away.

At Home Solutions

While a simple hot compress can help reduce some pain, there are desensitizing products out there that can help reduce some pain, such as numbing dental gel or toothpaste designed to help with sensitivity.

Dental Treatment

Going to a dentist will help you find the source of the sensitivity. Sometimes it can be as simple as a cavity or worn filling that needs to be fixed. If your enamel is worn down or your gums are receding to expose the dentin, then the dentist may need to perform a gum graft to re-establish a protective layer for the dentin.

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