Do you experience a painful sensation in your teeth when you are drinking, brushing, or eating? If so, you are not alone. You have likely wondered what you could do to treat the sensitivity in your teeth. Tooth sensitivity results from your teeth' nerves irritation, leading to discomfort and pain when you bite, eat, or drink certain fluids.

The problem might be caused by many factors, as discussed below. Most of the factors are connected to the natural erosion of your tooth enamel and gum. So, If you develop hypersensitive teeth, you want to speak with your dentist. Your dentist will examine your teeth and determine the cause of the sensitivity.

You want to find a trained dentist to help you determine the root cause of the problem and help you find an ideal treatment. At Washington Dental, our dentists are more than willing to help you. If you are seeking dental services in Lomita, CA, don’t hesitate to reach us.

Causes of Sensitive Teeth

Do you feel sudden toothache or pain in your gum? Then you are not alone. According to a survey by American Family Physician, it revealed about twenty-two percent of the grown-ups experience pain in their gums, within their jaws, and on their teeth. Two of the likely explanations showed one might develop a sensitive tooth when one of their teeth is infected or cracked. The following are the potential causes of sensitive teeth:

Exposure to Extreme Cold or Heat

Have you ever experienced discomfort or pain in your teeth after a spoon of hot soup or a bite of ice cream? Ok, the teeth sensitivity usually occurs due to exposed nerves in your teeth or when you have worn teeth enamel. So, if you drink or eat something/food, you will probably feel a sudden flash of pain in your teeth. Visit your dentist as soon as you feel the sensitivity.

Enamel Erosion

According to recent estimations, around twelve percent of people have dentin hypersensitivity, which leads to discomfort when they drink or eat certain foods. This type of sensitivity might be caused by brushing your teeth hard or eating highly acidic foods, among other factors. Afterward, your tooth enamel starts to wear. Note enamel is not replaced once worn. Then, this will cause a sharp, stabbing pain that sends shivers on your spine once you bite your food.

Gum Recession

Teeth gums are a pink tissue layer covering the bone and surrounding your teeth root. The gum helps in protecting the nerve ending in your teeth. Remember, your gum tissue will wear as you age, causing gum recession. Then the recession leaves your teeth and roots exposed. Again, it will leave you more vulnerable to tooth infection and gum disease. Therefore, if you notice your teeth are suddenly more sensitive than before, gum recession could be the primary cause. Then visit your dentist and share the news with him/her.

Gum Infection

Gum infection is also known as periodontal disease. The disease affects around 47% of grownups above the age of thirty years. Most people refer to gum disease as gingivitis when it’s in its early stages. Again a few people don’t even know when they have the disease. If you notice sudden sensitive gum or teeth, then gum diseases might be the cause.

Tooth Decay

Per the World Health Organization, tooth decay cases are high in the United States and Latin America because of the high levels of sugar and fermentable carbohydrates consumed. When the sugars and other related foods are uncleaned from your teeth, bacteria feed and form a plague. Tooth sensitivity is usually a warning that a cavity is forming, and it's time to visit your dentist.

Tooth decay is also known as a cavity. So, the cavity might be the reason behind your sudden sensitive teeth. It might occur on the top or sides of your enamel, and you may fail to notice it for some time. When the tooth decay progresses towards an infection, you will probably begin experiencing more pain in your teeth.

Grinding Teeth or Clenching Jaws

Since grinding occurs at nighttime, most people are unaware of whether they grind their teeth. Clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth may lead to tooth sensitivity since they wear your tooth enamel. Most people grind or clench their teeth from time to time. Grinding your teeth might have pretty subtle symptoms. Most people usually wake up stressed with a painful jaw. Others report headaches.

Most people learn they have teeth grinding through their friends who hear them grinding at nighttime. So, if you suspect you have teeth-grinding, you need to visit your dentist as soon as possible. Chronic teeth grinding results in teeth loosening, teeth loss, and fracturing. Then the chronic grinding may wear your teeth to stumps. With fractured and loose teeth, you will probably experience tooth sensitivity.

Sinus Infection

According to dental experts, sinus tooth pain is fairly common. Sinus infection causes tooth pain when fluids during sinus infection create pressure on your teeth close to the maxillary sinuses. So, if you have a sinus tooth infection, you want to visit your dental expert right away. Among the symptoms of sinus infection is feeling pain in your teeth and jaws. As the sinus infection becomes filled and inflamed with pressure from the infection, it compresses your teeth’ nerve endings. The sinus infection may occur suddenly and often feels like a dull ache, something pressing on your teeth.

Cracked Crown or Teeth

A cracked tooth may occur due to chewing hard foods, grinding at night, or even naturally due to age. The condition will often result in tooth loss when left untreated. You may be surprised to learn a cracked crown or teeth cause teeth sensitivity and pain. Sometimes, your teeth might be slightly broken, thus it causes much pain, but you may not see the crack. So, it’s essential to visit your dentist once you notice you have a tooth crack not only to prevent sensitivity but also to avoid tooth loss.

Eating Acidic Foods

Eating and drinking acidic foods causes painful sensitivity in your teeth. Sharp tasting and sour drinks and foods may easily strip away your teeth enamel. Examples of acidic foods include tomatoes, yogurt, orange juice, soft drinks, wine, pickled products, and yogurt. When you eat too many acidic foods, they damage your tooth enamel then weaken your teeth' gum line. After exposing your teeth' inner layer, your nerve center is more exposed, and it results in painful tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity symptoms include sharp pains after eating something cold or hot and feeling pain in your teeth after eating.

Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard

Brushing your teeth too hard may result in adverse effects on your oral health. They include gum recession and premature wear and tear. Tooth enamel is the hardest part of the human body that helps your teeth deal with everything you put them through. However, it wears out due to overaggressive brushing. When you apply too much pressure while brushing, it slowly wears your enamel. You have to note; the enamel cannot be repaired after significant damages.

After eroding your enamel, you experience dental sensitivity since it exposes nerve endings that result in pain. Brushing your teeth too hard can lead to the shrinking of your gum tissue. Shrinking the back of your gum tissue affects your smile appearance. In addition, if gum recession progresses, it results in exposure of the roots of your teeth. The roots of your teeth are sensitive to the outside environment and decay more quickly than the top part of the teeth.

Too Much Mouthwash

When you swing your mouth daily, you may have a sore mouth. Mouthwash contains acids that make your sensitive teeth worse, especially when your dentin is exposed. The acids also destroy the tooth dentine layer. Therefore, you should rinse your mouth the utmost twice a day. You may also use neutral fluoride rinses, which lower the sensitivity of your teeth.

Recent Dental Procedures

If you keep your teeth pearly white or in good shape with regular visits to a dentist, then you should limit them. It can work against you since root planning, teeth cleaning, tooth restoration, and replacement crowns may result in teeth sensitivity. Recent dental procedures cause temporary sensitivity that lasts up to 5 weeks.

Teeth Bleaching

Tooth sensitivity is often a common side effect of teeth whitening and is mainly caused by bleaching solutions. The bleaching solutions usually remove the minerals within your teeth' enamel, causing the teeth to become porous, thus exposing microtubules within your teeth. The tubules are microscopic channels leading from the teeth' surface to the center of the teeth, where the tooth nerves are housed.

After exposing the dentinal tubules, your dental sensitivity increases. Therefore, using bleaching gel, whitening strips, or visiting a dentist's office for a whitening procedure may place you at a high risk of sensitive teeth. Also, pain in your teeth due to teeth bleaching is temporary and will stop once you end using the whitening products.

How a Dentist Will Help Treat Sensitive Teeth

If you experience more sensitivity in your teeth than before, you want to make an appointment with your dental expert immediately. The dentist may recommend you to use a simple tooth treatment like using toothpaste. Again, the dentist may tell you whether you require a corrective procedure like tooth extraction, tooth filling to relieve the pain. Don’t ignore some dental symptoms. You need to visit your dentist right away or call another dental expert once you experience any of the following:

  • If you experience a toothache lasting for more than forty-eight hours.
  • Thunderclap headache or migraine extending to your teeth.
  • Sharp or throbbing pain that doesn’t seize.
  • Fever coinciding with your toothache.

Sensitive Teeth Diagnoses

If you suspect you have teeth sensitivity, the first thing you want to do is make an appointment with your dental expert. You may book an appointment with Washington Dental and receive our dental services. First, the dental professionals will look at the health of your teeth and examine potential problems like loose fillings, recessed gums, cavities.

Your dental expert will do all this during the routine dental cleaning. After cleaning the teeth, they will carry out a visual examination. He/she may touch your teeth using dental devices to know whether you have sensitive teeth. Also, they may conduct an X-ray on your teeth to determine the root cause of the problem.

Possible Questions Your Dentist Will Ask When Diagnosing Teeth’ Sensitivity

To diagnose your problem, the dental expert will ask you several questions related to your teeth sensitivity. The possible questions include:

  • When did you first experience teeth sensitivity?
  • Have you ever experienced teeth or mouth injury?
  • Where do you experience discomfort or pain?
  • Have you ever found yourself grinding or clenching your teeth?
  • Do you have any other symptoms like bleeding gums, bad breath, or jaw pain?
  • Are you taking any medication?
  • When did you last visit your dentist?

Potential Complications Caused by Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth may diminish the quality of your life with poor hygiene and weight loss. The sensitivity usually indicates problems in the cementum and tooth enamel. Since these parts protect your tooth root and crown, your dentist must repair them to reduce the risks of infections. Again, the sensitivity of the teeth may be due to severe disease. Then ignorance to treat it may lead to severe complications and permanent teeth damages. After your dentist diagnoses the underlying cause, you must follow the dentist’s guidance to avoid potential complications like:

  • Tooth loss
  • Cavities
  • Tooth abscess
  • Spread of infections
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Malocclusion

Methods of Preventing, Reducing, and Treating Tooth Sensitivity

You can treat, prevent or reduce tooth sensitivity. First, visit your dentist as soon as you notice the sensitivity. The dentist will help you determine the cause and suggest a potential treatment. Also, you can prevent teeth sensitivity by ensuring you maintain good oral hygiene. Remember, poor oral hygiene creates room for bacteria survival in your mouth, causing dental problems. Tooth sensitivity may be increased by using tobacco and oral piercing. So avoid tobacco intakes. The following steps may also help you prevent your teeth sensitivity:

  • Use soft fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Ensure the toothbrush’s shape and size suit your mouth to clean all teeth well.
  • Replace your fluoride toothpaste after every three months.
  • Ensure you visit your dental expert after every six months to clean and examine your teeth.
  • Clean your teeth after every meal to ensure no plaque builds up around your teeth.

Apart from preventing teeth sensitivity, you can also reduce or treat sensitive teeth by observing various strategies. To reduce or treat the sensitivity, then consider the following great solutions:

  • Use Toothpaste Prepared for Sensitive Teeth

Most kinds of toothpaste are made to achieve different purposes. So, if you use toothpaste prepared for reducing tooth sensitivity, you will relieve the symptom. The toothpaste has an ingredient responsible for filling the tiny holes in your dentin and enamel. Again, the ingredients reduce the amount of exposure to teeth’ nerves.

  • Let Your Dentist Check Your Teeth

Receding or diseased gums might be a significant cause of sensitive teeth. When the gum tissues break and move away from your teeth surface, the gum exposes your teeth parts without enamel. Then it leaves your nerves unprotected, thus causing significant discomfort. Therefore, have a dental expert examine your teeth and examine your gum to ensure you don’t have gum diseases. Remember, healthy gums help prevent teeth sensitivity. So, don’t hesitate to visit your dentist as soon as you notice the sensitivity.

  • Use a Mouth Guard at Nighttime

As mentioned above, grinding your teeth at nighttime may cause teeth sensitivity. The condition is known as bruxism. Then if grinding your teeth at night has become a problem, your dentist may take your teeth’ molds. Then he/she will prepare a custom mouth guard for you to wear at nighttime as you sleep. The guards will protect you against pressure then prevent any damage which may occur on your teeth as you sleep.

  • Use Soft Toothbrush

As mentioned above, hard toothbrushes are among the most common causes of sensitive teeth. Ensure you change your toothbrush. Dental experts recommend you change them after three months. Using a toothbrush with stiff bristles may worsen your condition. Abrasive toothpaste and stiff bristles are hard on your enamel. So, they may lead to microscopic holes and result in tooth sensitivity. Again, they may worsen your gum recession and expose sensitive nerves and dentin. Use a soft toothbrush and ensure you gently brush your teeth to maintain your gum integrity and your teeth as well.

  • Use Garlic

Garlic is another method recommended by dental experts, which you may opt to reduce teeth sensitivity. Garlic contains valuable components essential in maintaining your oral health. Among the ingredients of garlic is allicin. The compound is antibacterial. Again the compound relieves pain. You can use garlic by slicing and applying it directly to the affected teeth. Also, you may combine the product with half a teaspoon of salt and a few droplets of water. Then, apply the compound to the sensitive part. Ensure you repeat the exercise twice per day, and you will reduce the sensitivity.

  • Oil Pulling

Coconut oil will help you if you have a sensitive tooth due to a bacteria overgrowth. Oil pulling occurs when you liquefy coconut oil around your mouth. The oil has shown promising results for many years now as a health aid. The oil prevents bacteria growth in your mouth, removes toxins and germs from your gum surface. Also, it breaks down the plaque on your mouth. Therefore, coconut oil promotes healthier teeth and gums, thus reducing the sensitivity in your teeth. Besides, the oil brightens and whitens your teeth. You only require a tablespoon of the oil. Next, swish it around your mouth for around twenty seconds and then spit it.

  • Make a Salt Water Mouthwash

Dental experts also recommend using saltwater for sensitivity treatment. Note, saltwater will balance the PH level in your mouth and create an alkaline environment. The environment reduces bacterial survival and growth. Again it hinders plaque formation. You can make salt water by mixing a glass of warm water with two teaspoons of salt. Ensure you rinse the water in the morning and the evening until the teeth sensitivity improves.

  • Use Clove to Relieve the Pain

Clove oil and clove are anti-inflammatories, analgesic, and germicidal. It reduces pain, bacteria growth, and inflammation. When you use the extract and swish it inside your mouth, it will reduce your tooth sensitivity. You may enhance the analgesic property in the clove by adding it to orange oil. Remember, coconut oil is potent. Therefore, use them in small quantities.

  • Dental Coatings and Varnishes May Control Teeth Sensitivity

Your dentist may use several varnishes to relieve your teeth sensitivity. For example, fluoride varnish may be very helpful in reducing your tooth sensitivity. The fluoride will fill the tiny holes in your teeth' enamel, exposing your teeth to temperature changes or other irritants. Again the dental expert may use plastic sealant coatings to strengthen your teeth, dentin, and enamel. Note, dentine is the tissue under your enamel. You may consult your dental expert about the coating options to reduce your teeth sensitivity.

  • Avoid Problematic Beverages and Foods

Most drinks and foods make sensitive teeth worsen. So, you need to minimize the intake of these foods and beverages to avoid sensitive teeth. The acidic drinks and foods include fruits, sodas, pickles, and coffee. Therefore, if you are struggling with sensitive teeth when you drink or eat certain foods, consider eliminating or reducing their consumption. Again, avoid extremely cold or hot foods as they can lead to tooth discomfort.

Find a Lomita Dentist Near Me

If you leave teeth sensitivity untreated, it may result in complicated issues like tooth loss or decay. The treatment options mentioned above will help reduce your teeth’ sensitivity. You want to find a trained dental expert for quality dental care. At Washington Dental, we are ready to help you solve your sensitive teeth problem. If you are looking for a dental expert in Lomita, California, please contact us at 310-326-5183 today for more information and arrange an appointment.