Perhaps you’ve taken a sip from a cup of hot coffee, and then you winced in pain. It’s not the first time you’ve been drinking coffee at that temperature, so why does it hurt?
Fortunately, you’re not alone. If you’ve ever experienced this, then it may be time to look into the possibility of sensitive teeth with your dentist.
What Is Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is an unexpected pain or discomfort that occurs when consuming hot or cold drinks and food products. Contrary to popular belief, it is more than just a mealtime inconvenience. It is usually a warning into the possibility of developing a cavity that is yet to manifest or other causes.
At times, it could be a result of your favorite beverage. Different drinks and food substances have varying acidic levels and affect the enamel and gum tissue in varying degrees.
If you notice that your tooth sensitivity to heat or cold lingers on, then you should look into the cause by visiting your dentist.
Causes of Sensitive Teeth
Sensitivity may be a warning signal for one or more underlying conditions. Here are some reasons why your teeth may be unusually sensitive to heat or cold.
Sensitivity to heat or cold is often an early sign of a slowly forming undiagnosed cavity. Cavities may develop due to the acidic effects of plaque on the teeth. It could also result from long-term damaging effects of sodas and other acidic substances on the teeth.
Watch out for certain foods that are bad for your teeth. Sugars, candies, alcohol, and sodas are bad for teeth and are the leading causes of tooth decay.
Identifying the root cause of your sensitivity is the primary step that will help you successfully treat tooth sensitivity.
Physical and chemical factors can also contribute to tooth sensitivity. For instance, when you brush your teeth too hard, you can erode the enamel of your teeth.
Again, acidic substances from sodas, candies, sweets, and many other acidic food substances can act on the surface of the teeth and erode the enamel.
Excessive alcohol intake and overdrinking of chlorine water are other factors that can contribute to enamel erosion. Hence, if you have sensitive teeth, it is possible that your tooth enamel is beginning to wear away.
If you have a cracked or chipped tooth, your teeth will be susceptible to sensitivity. A chipped or cracked tooth exposes the underlying nerves, which increase the sensitivity of your teeth to heat or cold.
Inflammation of the gums is one of the chief components of gum disease. Gum diseases are usually a consequence of a bacterial infection. Bacteria affects the gums and results in inflammation of the gums.
If left untreated, the underlying bone tissue holding the gum and teeth in place loosens and consequently results in sensitive teeth.
What Can You Do To Treat Tooth Sensitivity
If you suspect tooth sensitivity, you should consult with your dentist to diagnose the underlying cause and propose the next line of action. There are also a few things you can do to prevent tooth sensitivity:
- Avoid brushing too hard. Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum to clean your enamel effectively without the risks of eroding it away.
- Limit your intake of acidic foods and drinks such as sodas and sticky candies. These produce acids that can erode the enamel protecting the tooth. Additionally, they are one of the chief causes of dental cavities, which manifests early as tooth sensitivity.
- Strive as much as possible to avoid grinding your teeth. Teeth grinding may happen as an unconscious event. If you notice you’re grinding your teeth, it could be signs of stress, anxiety, an abnormal bite, or crooked teeth. Consult with a dentist to proffer solutions that can help you treat it.
- If you need to clean your teeth, go for a professional teeth whitening solution by a dental professional instead of over-the-counter products. Speak with a dental professional on which whitening treatment is right for you.