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Dental Conditions Sensitive Teeth


of people suffer from sensitive teeth

Tooth sensitivity can start off as a minor nuisance, but without proper attention it can become a deeper concern. 

A tooth may become sensitive to temperature, pressure, air and sweets. The sensitivity can elicit itself as a sharp, temporary pain. This can lead to difficulty enjoying food and may become a chronic ache that is always present. If allowed to progress, the underlying cause leads to permanent pain. Early diagnosis of the source of the sensitivity is key in order to cure it.

Causes, how to prevent & natural solutions

  • Causes
  • How to Prevent
  • Natural Solutions

Tooth sensitivity; it can appear out of nowhere and have many different causes. Take a look into some possible culprits.

Dentin exposure is a common cause of tooth sensitivity. Dentin is the layer of your tooth just below the outer enamel and it can become exposed in many ways. Exposure due to gum recession and bone loss occurs when the mouth has not been cleaned properly or regularly enough, and leads to exposure of the root of the tooth. 

Dentin or root exposure can occur after losing a tooth, as the adjacent teeth suffer from the subsequent bone loss.

A tooth that used to bite on the missing tooth will often drift up. Since it no longer has the pressure from the tooth above, the drift can cause the tooth's roots to suffer from sensitivity from exposure as well.

Tooth decay that has eroded away the enamel, then exposes the dentin underneath and will lead to sensitivity.

Old mercury fillings that slowly erode away may cause sensitivity as they are not bonded to the tooth and transfer temperature changes to the tooth much more readily due to their metallic property.

Misaligned teeth can cause gum recession and in turn, root exposure that will lead to sensitivity.

Abrasive toothpaste can slowly grind away the protective enamel on our teeth, leading to dentin exposure and sensitivity.

Excessive grinding can wear down tooth enamel to expose dentin. Grinding can often occur when you are asleep, and unaware of it happening.

Excessive tooth whitening via bleaching will cause chemical sensitivity due to the acid breakdown and the porosity formation in the enamel. When enamel becomes too porous, can no longer protect the dentin, causing sensitivity.

A tooth may potentially be cracked or fractured, and lead to multiple types of sensitivities.

The best way to prevent tooth sensitivity is to be proactive. That's often easier said than done, especially with the many causes of sensitivity.

Replacing missing teeth to prevent tooth movement and gum and bone loss can help prevent long-lasting sensitivity issues

Extra pressure on the gums can cause recessive and further sensitivity. A gentle, circular motion is best. Additionally, keep the brush on the tooth at a 45 degree angle with the bristles pointing towards the gumline.

Avoid acidic, sugary, sticky foods as they will cause the most damage to the protective enamel layer via acidic erosion. Rather eating high fiber, fruits and vegetables, cheese, and plain yogurt will help with sensitivity.

Treating the underlying cause of clenching or grinding will help in assessing the need for a protective device.

When you're already suffering from tooth sensitivity, its important to tackle the issue as soon as you can. While general tooth sensitivity can be a daily annoyance, it can also be the sign of something more serious.

Replacing lost teeth with implants treatment will prevent bone loss and tooth movement, which can prevent future sensitivity.

Replacing lost teeth with a bridge will also prevent tooth movement, though bone loss may continue.

Ceramic Crowns can be placed in a single appointment and will strengthen worn-away teeth and cover exposed dentin by being bonded in. This resist sensitivity in most cases as it provides a layer of buffering

Misaligned teeth can be straightened with Invisalign clear aligners, putting them back into their proper positions and reducing sensitivity.

Composite Fillings are used to fill in holes from decay and cover exposed dentin. Exposed dentin is a major culprit of dental sensitivity.

A Neuromuscular Orthotic may be used to prevent grinding and relax the muscles of the jaw such that they are less likely to spasm and cause grinding

Switching to a sensitivity-reducing toothpaste will help in reducing sensitivity, but is only a temporary solution. The underlying cause should be addressed before it progresses into a permanent issue.

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Shore Dental Centre Kelowna
  • The Shore
    204 - 3477 Lakeshore Rd.
    Kelowna, BC V1W 0A7

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