Tooth Sensitivity – it just isn’t any fun. From preventing you from biting unguardedly in to your favorite ice cream to making you grimace when flossing around certain teeth – there’s nothing positive about this form of sensitivity and left untreated, pain and discomfort can become a daily dilemma.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Calgary Dentists at Centennial Smiles explain that tooth sensitivity can be caused by several factors – all of which create the same result – shooting pains in some or all teeth when exposed to certain temperatures, pressure and acidity in the mouth. Reported more frequently in the over forty crowd – tooth sensitivity is definitely a curse of a maturing mouth with symptoms becoming worse if not addressed. Some of the more common triggers for tooth sensitivity are:
Root Exposure – gum recession that is associated with Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease may be the number one cause of increased tooth sensitivity. In an attempt to avoid the irritating toxins that are released by oral bacteria, gum tissue pulls away from the neck of the tooth, sometimes forming a pocket and dropping lower around the tooth. The result is root exposure. Roots don’t have the protective covering of enamel to reduce sensations from different stimuli – consequently the effect of biting in to something really cold goes straight to the nerve of the tooth – resulting in shooting pain that may linger as mild discomfort. Your dentist can apply a de-sensitizing agent to any exposed roots – sealing-off the microscopic openings and providing a protective barrier.
Tooth Grinding – what may seem like a harmless habit can actually be causing significant damage to tooth anatomy and surrounding tissues. Grinding of teeth involves pressure being exerted on certain teeth for a prolonged amount of time – wearing through enamel and dentistry and making teeth super sensitive. The action of grinding literally flexes a tooth – sometimes causing cracks and ditches at the gumline (abfractions) and causing teeth to respond to pressure (biting a crunchy carrot) with pain. Though the habit of grinding can’t always be broken – the damage it causes can be slowed by the use of a Night Guard or by correcting bite imbalances that may be triggering the habit.
High Sugar Diet – the team at Centennial Smiles Dental recommends avoiding foods with high sugar content as this is what oral bacteria need to feed on. When bacteria and sugars (simple carbohydrates) mingle the result is acid being released. These acids weaken dental enamel, irritate gum tissue and cause tooth decay. Reducing sugar intake will inhibit the formation of acids – and prevent tooth sensitivity.