Tooth sensitivity is an oral health issue that can cause severe discomfort for both children and adults. Tooth sensitivity is most experienced when a person drinks a hot or cold beverage or eats an acidic or sugary food. Other people will experience tooth sensitivity when they breathe in cool or warm air. The following article will explain some of the way’s individuals dealing with tooth sensitivity can reduce their risk and prevent it from becoming a chronic issue.

How Tooth Sensitivity Happens

It’s important to know that tooth sensitivity can happen for several reasons and can affect anyone. No group of people faces a substantially higher risk of experiencing tooth sensitivity than another group.

Individuals with healthy teeth have their dentin protected by a layer of enamel, and the gum shields the roots of the teeth. The greatest risk of tooth sensitivity arises when a person practices improper oral hygiene or has suffered physical oral trauma. Here are a few things that can instigate tooth sensitivity:

• Cavities/ tooth decay
• Cracked or chipped teeth
• Receding gums
• Root deterioration

Why Tooth Sensitivity Occurs

The condition of a person’s dentin impacts the severity of their tooth sensitivity. This is because inside dentin, there are thousands of channels that directly lead to the pulp of the tooth. Therefore, when a person with weak enamel eats or drinks a substance that is cold, hot, sugary or acidic, the properties of the substance easily contact the tooth’s nerves causing a sensitive reaction.

Factors That Contribute to Tooth Sensitivity

The oral health decisions you make determine your risk of experiencing tooth sensitivity, including:

• Brushing with too much aggression or using a toothbrush with hard bristles – both decisions may damage your enamel, dentin and promote a receding gum condition
• Lack of Flossing- We all understand the importance of brushing 2-3 times a day, but don’t ignore flossing your teeth. Plaque build-up can lead to tooth decay, which increases your chances of sensitivity.
• Grinding Teeth- many people don’t realize they grind their teeth or clench them while they’re awake and asleep, but it can ruin one’s enamel.
• Some mouthwashes contain highly acidic properties, and after extended use, it can expose your dentin.
• Many dental operations, including cavity fillings, root planing, or cleanings may leave teeth sensitive for up to 7 weeks following the completion of the operation.

If you’re currently experiencing tooth sensitivity, be sure to contact your family dentist for an immediate consultation. Visiting your family dentist once every six months is the ideal way to prevent and reduce tooth sensitivity. For more information, please contact Tooth Harmony today!