Perhaps the most common complaint dentists come across is tooth sensitivity. While there are recommendations we can make to minimize the sensitivity, we have to determine what is causing the problem to effectively manage it. Only by discovering and treating the cause of tooth sensitivity will we be able to completely eliminate it. There are dozens of potential causes, but some are more common than others.
In the majority of cases where a patient has sensitive teeth, it can be traced back to the health of the gums. Gum recession, in particular, is known for leading to this type of sensitivity. This should make logical sense as receding gums can expose the root surface, which plays a crucial role in how your mouth feels.
In addition to gum recession, tooth sensitivity may be due to enamel of your teeth wearing down. This is likely to occur due to your brushing habits. We frequently see patients who have accidentally worn down their enamel by brushing aggressively while using a hard grip or choosing a hard toothbrush.
It is also possible that the teeth will begin to erode if you follow a specific diet. Eating foods and drinking beverages which are highly acidic has the unfortunate side effect of eroding your teeth, which can in turn lead to sensitivity. Even if you avoid acidic foods, you may experience tooth erosion from a condition that brings stomach acids to your mouth. Examples include bulimia and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
Other Possible Causes
In many cases, tooth sensitivity will be due to decay of the tooth in question. It may also be caused by broken teeth or worn leaky fillings as any of these things may expose the dentin within the teeth, leading to sensitivity. If you grind your teeth while sleeping, this can also lead to sensitivity. It is also normal to experience some sensitivity following a dental treatment such as tooth bleaching, fillings, or crowns. In this case, however, the sensitivity will be temporary and your dentist will give you an estimate of how long it should last for following the procedure.
Any time you notice tooth sensitivity, make an appointment with Dr. DeAndrade at Anthem Periodontics. His years of experience allow him to diagnose the cause of the sensitivity and begin treating it. In the case of gum recession, for example, he may recommend pinhole surgery to solve the problem.