Premature gum recession happens to many people; thinning of dental enamel occurs; and wearing down of dentition … all of these conditions can result in tooth sensitivity. Of course, regular visits with your dentist might have alerted you to potential problems before they escalated; but once the problem exists, you just want some relief!
Thinning of dental enamel – unfortunately dental enamel is not replaceable, but loss is preventable. A steady diet of acidic foods and beverages is one of the biggest contributors to enamel erosion. In addition, brushing with a hard bristle tooth brush is a mistake made by many in the belief they are scrubbing away harmful plaque. Fluoride treatments support strong enamel.
Wear and tear – often this is due to teeth grinding. There are symptoms for the patient, but since this is a habit usually started subconsciously during periods of sleep, by the time the patient realizes something is wrong, the damage is ongoing. A solution is a custom fitted mouth guard to be worn at night that will lead to a resolution to teeth grinding preventing further wear.
Plaque build-up – failure to visit your dentist every six months to have plaque removed creates a pathway to decay and/or gum disease. Both of these issues can lead to sensitivity.
A broken tooth – the break or crack can be minor, but exposure to hot or cold can result in a horrible zinging sensation. See your dentist right away as failure to do so might mean more extensive treatment will be needed (root canal).
There are tooth pastes and rinses geared toward helping to relieve tooth sensitivity as well. They work by closing up the tubules that lead to nerve endings. There are many tooth pastes and rinses on the market that can exacerbate the problems with sensitivity; speak with your dentist for advice on what products to avoid.
Regular visits to the dentist will catch many problems before sensitivity occurs; but even the most diligent patient can experience a problem so seek treatment as early as practical if sensitivity occurs.