Tooth sensitivity occurs when the microscopic canals that run from the dentin of the tooth to the tooth nerves are exposed. This is usually caused by a loss of tooth enamel, the hard, protective layer that coats your teeth.
If you have developed tooth sensitivity, you may have experienced one or more of these factors:
- Aggressive oral care: Tooth sensitivity can occur when you brush your teeth too hard and wear down the protective enamel of the tooth, leaving the tooth nerves exposed to cold, hot, acidic, and sugary foods. Mouthwashes that contain alcohol and other harsh chemicals can also increase tooth sensitivity, especially if the enamel is already worn. Whitening products can also wear away enamel.
- Acidic foods: Acid from certain foods (such as tomato sauce, citrus fruits, and pickles) can wear away tooth enamel, leaving the dentin and nerves exposed. You may experience tooth decay when the nerves of the teeth come into contact with more acidic foods.
- Bruxism: If you have a habit of grinding and clenching your teeth, you may be wearing away the enamel on your teeth.
- Gum disease: When the affected gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, it leaves the tooth roots and nerves exposed.
- Excessive plaque: When plaque is allowed to accumulate on and between your teeth, it can eat away at the enamel, causing tooth sensitivity and tooth decay.
- Dental procedures: You may experience some sensitivity after visiting the dentist for a root canal, crown, or extraction because your mouth needs some time to heal.
- Cracked teeth: Cracks and holes in the teeth leave the tooth nerves vulnerable. Pain from a cracked or broken tooth usually goes beyond tooth sensitivity.
- Old or weakened filling: As you age, your fillings can become weakened and begin to fracture or leak around the edges. Bacteria can settle in the cracks, causing acid buildup and loss of enamel.
Your tooth sensitivity can be treated at SmileMarin. Dr. Eric Zaremski and our team can help you determine the cause of your sensitivity, which may require a dental cleaning, dental restoration, desensitizing, or another treatment.
We invite you to learn more about treating tooth sensitivity, and to schedule an appointment with our dentist.