Why Are My Teeth Sensitive All of a Sudden

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive All of a Sudden

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive All of a Sudden?

Does tooth pain keep you from enjoying a hot cup of coffee or a cold glass of water? Do you pass on sweets or acidic foods because they cause oral discomfort? If these problems sound familiar, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your dentist to talk about tooth sensitivity.

It’s important to note: A small amount of dental sensitivity is considered normal, but pain with everyday activities (like drinking a cup of coffee) could be a sign of bigger dental issues.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity, according to the American Dental Association, is caused by tooth decay, a cracked tooth, worn tooth enamel, worn fillings or tooth roots that are exposed as a result of aggressive tooth brushing, gum recession, or periodontal (gum) disease.

But what exactly makes a tooth sensitive? And how do I prevent it?

Dentin is one of the four major components of the teeth. It is a tissue within the tooth that is protected by hard enamel (the strongest substance in the body) at the top of the tooth and cementum on the root. A major characteristic of dentin is that it can be sensitive because of microscopic tubules that connect it to the pulp of the tooth. The pulp houses a tooth’s nerves.

Therefore, if dentin loses its protective armor (enamel and cementum), sensitivity to hot, cold, acidic, and sweet foods could develop because the nerves connected to the dentin are exposed and triggered.

Preventing Sensitive Teeth

The Mayo Clinic says that to prevent sensitivity from occurring, consider adopting these habits:

 Treatment for Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth can be treated. Depending on the cause and severity, there are a number of options that your dentist may suggest.

The first at-home treatment that your dentist may suggest is using a desensitizing toothpaste. You may have seen commercials on television for products like Sensodyne or ProNamel. These are examples of toothpastes that contain ingredients, such as potassium nitrate or stannous fluoride, to help prevent sensitivity by blocking sensation to the nerve.

According to the ADA, “Desensitizing toothpaste usually requires several applications before the sensitivity is reduced. When choosing toothpaste or any other dental care products, look for those that display the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance—your assurance that products have met ADA criteria for safety and effectiveness.” Your dentist may also suggest using a mouth rinse with lower acid.

In-office treatments are also an option if desensitizing toothpaste does not lower or eliminate the sensitivity.

It’s important to speak to your dentist if you have regular sensitivity in your mouth. There are ways to treat the discomfort and return to a normal way of life.