One of the most common problems that bring people to our Highlands Ranch dental office is sensitive teeth. If your teeth hurt with exposure to cold air, hot or cold food and beverages, or sweets, you may have sensitive teeth. Our dentists, Dr. DeLapp and Dr. Parsons don’t want you to suffer with sensitive teeth!
What are the main causes for sensitive teeth?
Dental Cavities: Did you know that most of us walk around with undiagnosed dental disease including cavities. The meaning of cavities is a small hole in your tooth where bacteria live, breed, and grow. Left untreated, the bacteria that create cavities will enlarge, spread, and potentially causes more serious dental problems including infection and pain. Those of who suffer from sensitivity might have early stage bacteria infections causing cavities in our mouth. In this case it is important to get them treated right away!
Not enough fluoride: Fluoride is an important element especially for teeth. Naturally occurring fluoride in water and Toothpastes containing fluoride are recommended. Many people who exclusively drink bottled water and skip the fluoride in their toothpastes have increase sensitivity. Chemistry can explain why this occurs. Teeth are made up of hydroxyappetitie, which in it’s naturally occurring form, has an open ion for bonding. Fluoride bonds to hydroxyappetite, leaving the chemical make up of your teeth stronger.
Clenching and Grinding: We all deal with different levels of stress. A majority of people will unknowingly clenching/grind their teeth (especially during the night) in response to stress. This can cause jaw soreness, headaches, neck aches, as well as gum recession and wearing of enamel. Gum recession causes tooth structure that was protected by gum tissue to be exposed. This underlying tooth structure is much more sensitive. In the same manner, when you grind your teeth and wear away the enamel, the underlying tooth strucutre called dentin becomes exposed. This is much more sensitive because it transmits more signals to the nerve of your tooth. You can protect your teeth from clenching/grinding and it’s affects through Botox (check out our Botox blog here) or an occlusal guard.
Over Whitening: Yes there is such a thing as using too much whitening products. If you are doing at home whitening be sure you are not using any product that contains more than 16% Hydrogen peroxide solution. Too frequent or too strong of whitening solution can cause sensitivity. We recommend you consult with our Highlands Ranch dentists, Dr. DeLapp or Dr. Parsons before you begin any whitening regime. Check out our previous blog on different in office whitening solutions we have here.
Abrasive brushing or toothpaste: While you may think that brushing harder or with a stiff bristled toothbrush gets your teeth cleaner, you may be causing more harm than good. Abrasive brushing or using abrasive toothbrushes can cause abrasions that remove the natural protective barriers your teeth have causing them to be more sensitive. Check out our blog on tips for choosing the right toothbrush here.
Consult with our Dental Team serving patients in Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Castle Rock, Castle Pines, and Centennial on what is the cause of your sensitivity and the recommended course of treatment. Schedule your appointment today at 303-694-9740.