Why so sensitive??

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April 5th, 2016

At some point, you may have experienced a little sensitivity when eating, perhaps after enjoying an ice-cold beverage or biting into something hot. Even breathing a blast of cold air can cause discomfort. Why do some people experience sensitivity while others don’t? Here are some common causes of tooth sensitivity:

  • Exposed Dentin: Underneath the hard shiny enamel of each tooth is a protective layer called dentin. Dentin is extremely sensitive, and those who suffer from severe sensitivity may have exposed the dentin layer of the tooth.
  • Gum Disease: Periodontal (gum) disease can destroy your bone and gum tissue to the point that the sensitive root part of the tooth is exposed. To prevent gum disease, visit your dentist for regular cleanings and exams.
  • Tooth Grinding: Sensitivity can be caused by excessive tooth grinding or clenching. Most patients are unaware they grind or clench their teeth because it occurs in their sleep. When this is the case, wearing a mouthguard to bed to prevent the unconscious grinding can sometimes solve the problem.
  • Whitening Treatments: From simple whitening toothpastes to professional in-office whitening systems, both can cause unwanted sensitivity. If your quest to make your smile whiter is affecting the sensitivity of your teeth, your dentist may recommend fewer applications or a different treatment.

Most people experience slight tooth sensitivity here and there, but if yours is frequent, discuss possible treatments with your dentist. For more information on your oral health, visit DeltaDentalMN.org.