Why my teeth are sensitive?

Hypersensitivity of the teeth is a common problem with unpleasant or painful sensations when brushing, drinking hot or cold drinks, and eating sour or sweet foods. In some cases, the sensitivity is so high that the slightest sensation – touching the tongue to the teeth or pulling air through the teeth – causes pain. What can cause this condition?

What provokes teeth sensitivity? 

The mechanism by which sensitivity occurs is related to damage to the enamel. Healthy enamel, like armor, protects the underlying dentin, which is connected to the pulp (the “nerve” of the tooth) by tiny tubules. Therefore, when the integrity of the enamel is compromised and the dentin is exposed, there is immediate pain – as a signal that something has gone wrong and the tooth needs help.

Sensitive teeth, sudden tooth pain

The main causes of teeth hypersensitivity:

  • The initial stage of caries. 
  • Non-carious enamel lesions: wedge-shaped defects, cracks, chips. 
  • Baring of the periodontal area of the tooth due to periodontal disease. 
  • Abrasion of enamel due to improper bite. 
  • Acid erosion of the teeth
  • Use of aggressive whitening pastes over a long period of time or inappropriate chemical teeth whitening. 
  • Improper brushing with a sawing motion on the enamel (instead of sweeping it away from the gums), hard toothbrush. 
  • Causes related to the general condition of the body: hormonal disorders, problems with the gastrointestinal tract, toxicosis during pregnancy and others.

Tooth sensitivity treatment

Consultation with dentist

As you can see, the causes of hyperesthesia can be quite different. Even if the sensitivity has decreased or disappeared, it’s important to understand the initial cause, otherwise,  sooner or later the problem will return.

The best way is to come for a consultation with a dentist. Depending on a cause, doctor will give a proper and effective advice on what to do:

  • If aggressive brushing is the problem, the dentist will tell you and show you how to brush your teeth correctly and non-traumatically, and find the right brush and paste for you.
  • If you have caries, the sensitivity can be corrected by filling your teeth.
  • Sometimes wedge-shaped defects affect the tooth so deeply that endodontic treatment of the tooth canals may be necessary.
  • Enamel cracks and erasures can be repaired after orthodontic treatment – normalization of bite with braces or aligners. After the teeth are aligned and the cause of the erosion resolved, the orthodontist can take over and perform the restorative dentistry.
  • In case if exposure of the roots and shrinkage of the gums causes sensitivity, you will need periodontal treatment, but in the milder stages, professional dental cleaning and removal of tartar will help.
  • After unsuccessful whitening,  you may need symptomatic treatment, coating the teeth with remineralizing and fluoride preparations.
  • If the cause is not in the teeth, but in the general condition of the body, the dentist will recommend you a specialist (endocrinologist, gastroenterologist, psychologist) to visit.

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