Causes and Solutions for Teeth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is a big issue for many people, especially when it gets in the way of enjoying their favorite foods or beverages. There are many causes for the discomfort, and thankfully, many solutions as well. Here are five common causes of sensitive teeth, along with some helpful solutions:

  1. You brush too hard.
    If you brush with too much force, or use a hard-bristled toothbrush, you can wear down the protective layers of the teeth. Instead, use a soft-bristled toothbrush, or an electric brush that uses a circular cleaning pattern.

  2. You grind your teeth.
    Grinding your teeth can wear down the enamel and expose the dentin, which contains your nerves. Talk to your dentist about a mouth guard that can stop you from grinding.

  3. You use teeth-whitening products.
    If you are using whitening trays or whitening toothpaste, it may be to blame for sensitivity. Consider switching to a special toothpaste for sensitive teeth that can help block the sensation from the nerve. Applying fluoride gel can also help make tooth enamel stronger, and lessen the feeling of sensitivity.

  4. You have gum disease.
    Receding gums, which are increasingly common with age, can cause tooth sensitivity. Head to the dental office to look into dental treatments for treating gum disease.

  5. You had a dental procedure.
    Teeth often become more sensitive after a root canal, an extraction, or the placement of a crown. If sensitivity doesn’t disappear after a short time following one of these procedures, head back to the dental office. It’s possible that an infection has developed.
Dr. Wayne Silverman, Dominion’s Dental Director, has more than 30 years of consulting, teaching, and private practice experience. He helps design and review Dominion’s plans, policies and administrative procedures. He is also an associate professor of restorative dentistry at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.