Reduce Sensitivity By Protecting Your Tooth Enamel

Woman in pain with sensitive teeth drinking ice water.
Young woman with sensitive teeth and hand holding glass of cold water with ice and feels toothache.

THE MOST COMMON cause of sensitive teeth is exposed dentin. Dentin lies beneath the enamel covering the crown of the tooth and the cementum covering the root. It’s full of microscopic nerve fibers. If exposed, the nerves can overreact to hot, cold, or sugary foods. The best way to avoid problems with exposed dentin is to properly care for your tooth enamel.

How One Develops Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth can develop due to various factors, including:

  1. Enamel Erosion: Enamel erosion occurs when the hard outer layer of the tooth (enamel) wears away, exposing the dentin underneath. This can happen due to acidic foods and drinks, aggressive brushing, or conditions like acid reflux.
  2. Gum Recession: When the gums recede, the roots of the teeth become exposed. Since the roots do not have enamel, they are more sensitive to stimuli such as hot, cold, and pressure.
  3. Tooth Decay: Cavities can expose the inner layers of the tooth, including the dentin, leading to sensitivity.
  4. Cracked or Damaged Teeth: Cracks in the tooth enamel can expose the dentin and cause sensitivity, especially when chewing or consuming hot or cold foods.
  5. Teeth Grinding (Bruxism): Grinding or clenching the teeth, especially at night, can wear down the enamel and lead to sensitivity.
  6. Dental Procedures: Some dental procedures, such as tooth whitening treatments, dental cleanings, or restorative work like fillings or crowns, can temporarily cause sensitivity.
  7. Age: As people age, the enamel on their teeth naturally wears down, increasing the likelihood of sensitivity.
  8. Genetics: Some people may be genetically predisposed to having thinner enamel or other dental issues that contribute to sensitivity.

Addressing the underlying cause of tooth sensitivity is essential for effective treatment and management. It’s important to consult with a dentist at Dental Partners of Boston to determine the specific cause of sensitivity and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

To Protect Your Tooth Enamel And Reduce Tooth Sensitivity…

Here are some good practices to follow to help with sensitive teeth:

  1. Desensitizing Toothpaste: These toothpastes can help reduce sensitivity by blocking the tubules in the dentin, which reduces the transmission of sensations to the nerves.
  2. Limit Acidic Foods and Drinks: Acidic substances can erode tooth enamel, exposing the sensitive dentin beneath. Limiting consumption and waiting before brushing can help minimize enamel damage.
  3. Brush Softly with a Soft-bristled Toothbrush: Brushing too hard can wear down enamel and exacerbate sensitivity. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle brushing techniques can prevent this.
  4. Address Teeth Grinding: Nighttime teeth grinding can contribute to tooth sensitivity and other dental issues. A night mouthguard can help protect your teeth from damage caused by grinding.
  5. Reduce Hard Candy Consumption: Hard candies can contribute to enamel erosion and tooth sensitivity, so it’s advisable to consume them sparingly.

Taking these steps can help alleviate tooth sensitivity and maintain good oral health.

Don’t Let Sensitive Teeth Interfere With Your Daily Life

Your dental team at Dental Partners of Boston cares about your comfort! If you’re suffering from sensitive teeth, we advise you to schedule an appointment with us right away so we can determine the cause of your sensitivity and help find a solution.

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