What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Eating a spoonful of ice cream, or biting into a chocolate bar shouldn’t feel like punishment! For those suffering with sensitive teeth, that is exactly how it feels. Sensitive tooth pain can be triggered by eating or drinking hot or cold items, or sugary foods.

As always, it is beneficial to visit your Fioritto dentist if you experience tooth sensitivity. Even if it’s a minor issue, our dentists can recommend treatment to reduce your sensitivity related pain. Additionally, if your tooth sensitivity causes headaches, lasts more than two days, or you have a fever, it is very important to call us or your primary care physician to rule out a possible infection.

Causes of tooth sensitivity include:

  • Teeth grinding. Have you been clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth while you sleep? Sleep issues, and stressful situations can cause us to grind our teeth without even realizing it. Grinding wears away the enamel—your tooth’s protective coating. To safeguard your teeth, our dentists may recommend wearing a mouthguard when sleeping. You can also minimize grinding by making a conscious effort to relax your jaw throughout the day.
  • Whitening products. Dental whitening products can provide whiter teeth, but they can also make your teeth extra sensitive! Reduce your whitening frequency when using over-the-counter whitening products, and your teeth sensitivity should improve. If you want whiter teeth, come see us at Fioritto Dental.  Our professional teeth whitening solutions will produce a beautiful white smile, and less tooth sensitivity.
  • An all-too-common cause of tooth sensitivity is the dreadful cavity!  Tooth decay occurs as a result of harmful bacteria that eat away a tooth’s enamel causing cracks or broken-down teeth.  These cracks expose the tooth’s dentin and if they are deep, can expose the tooth’s pulp.  This results in pain or sensitivity because the pulp contains blood vessels and nerves. If your pain is persistent, it is important to come see us as soon as possible.
  • Enamel erosion. Even if you don’t grind your teeth, your enamel may still wear away. Brushing your teeth too hard, or eating a very acidic foods can cause enamel erosion. It may surprise you to know this issue affects about 12 percent of the population.
  • Gum infection. Periodontal disease affects nearly 50 percent of adults over 30, and you may not even realize you have it. This is another reason to keep up with your dental checkups!
  • Recent dental work. Before you worry, look back at your calendar. Have you had dental work done in the last two weeks? Sometimes sensitivity can last that long, especially if you have undergone an extensive dental procedure. If the issue persists, our dentists can help.
  • Gum recession. Our gum tissue can recede as we age, which exposes more of the tooth’s root. In turn, hot, cold or sugary foods may cause more sensitivity discomfort.
  • Sinus infection. As if sinus infections weren’t bad enough, they can also cause tooth pain. When your sinuses become inflamed, the resulting pressure can compress the nerve endings in your teeth. If you currently have a sinus infection, your tooth sensitivity is probably related—but if it persists after the infection heals, call Fioritto Dental!

We’re here to help! Call Fioritto Family Dental to schedule an appointment today!