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What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth Sensitivity and its Solutions from the Best Dentist in Perth

Do ice-cold beverages cause dental discomfort? Or do you wiggle when you brush or floss? If yes, there is the possibility that you may have tooth sensitivity.

Having sensitive teeth can be painful. You may experience sharp, temporary pain in your teeth when brushing, eating, or drinking. However, several factors can contribute to this tooth discomfort, including tooth enamel wear, exposed tooth roots or even a cavity. If you’re frequently experiencing pain in your teeth, it’s best to consult a dental professional to find the root cause to get proper treatment.

If you have sensitive teeth that last more than a few weeks, schedule an appointment with Alpha Dental.

Why is my tooth hurting? 

Understanding the answer to this question helps to know a little about the structure of your teeth. A tooth comprises two parts, the visible crown and the root, which anchor the tooth into our jaw. Components of the crown include:

  • Tooth enamel – A hard white coating covering the sensitive inner part of every tooth. It’s composed of hydroxyapatite, i.e., calcium phosphate, the hardest material in the body.
  • Cementum – The layer of bone-like tissue that surrounds the tooth root that protects the roots. It’s made of collagen and other minerals and helps keep the roots anchored in your jawbone.
  • Dentin – It is made up of soft tissue that contains tiny canals called tubules. These tubules allow nutrients and nerve impulses to reach the pulp, and they also help to protect the pulp from bacteria.
  • Pulp – A tooth’s pulp is composed of blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves surrounded by dentin, which gives each tooth its sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.

If the enamel on your teeth starts to wear away, it can expose the dentin underneath. When this happens, you may feel pain when you eat or drink things that wouldn’t usually bother you. This is because the nerves in your tooth root send signals to your brain.

What causes tooth sensitivity? 

The root cause of tooth sensitivity is the loss of a protective layer around the tooth’s dentin. Dentin is typically protected by enamel, cementum, and gums. However, several issues can erode this protective layer, leaving the tooth susceptible to sensitivity.

Several factors can contribute to enamel loss, while other factors may also contribute to tooth sensitivity.  These include the following:

  • Brushing too hard    

A hard-bristled toothbrush or aggressive brushing can wear away at tooth enamel. This can also lead to gum recession which exposes the tooth’s root and may cause sensitivity.

  • Eating an acidic/ high-sugar diet

A diet high in sugar and acid can damage tooth enamel and make dentin more vulnerable. Foods and beverages such as soda, coffee, tomato sauce, candy, refined carbohydrates, and citrus fruits can all contribute to tooth erosion.

  • Using an acidic mouthwash 

Just as acidic foods can erode tooth enamel, so can acidic mouthwashes. The long-term use of an acidic mouthwash can exacerbate existing sensitivity.

  • Teeth grinding 

Regular grinding or clenching of teeth can gradually wear down tooth enamel, exposing the dentin and making it more susceptible to damage.

  • Gum disease 

Gum diseases, like gingivitis and periodontal disease, typically cause gum inflammation or recession. This can expose the roots of teeth and cause sensitivity.

  • Frequent use of tooth-whitening products 

Tooth-whitening products are common culprits of tooth sensitivity. The chemicals used to whiten teeth can be tough on tooth enamel and, over time, can cause wear and tear.

  • Cracked teeth 

Chipped or broken teeth are more susceptible to bacteria, which can travel through the cracks into the dentin, causing pain or sensitivity.

Book your appointment with Alpha Dental  

If you’re experiencing sensitive teeth, there’s no need to worry because, at Alpha Dental, we have the best dentist Perth who will give you the best advice on general dental care.

Alpha Dental dentist Perth suggests one of the following:

  • Desensitising toothpaste

It contains compounds that help block the transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve. It usually requires several applications before the sensitivity is reduced.

  • Fluoride gel

This is an in-office technique which strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the transmission of sensations.

  • Surgical gum grafts

It is done to protect the root and reduce sensitivity if you have lost gum tissue.

  • Root canal

It is recommended by dentists if sensitivity is severe and won’t go away with other treatments.

Above all, proper oral hygiene is key to preventing sensitive-tooth pain, so ask Alpha Dental questions about your daily oral hygiene routine or concerns about tooth sensitivity.

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