December 2, 2018

If your teeth are sensitive, you probably spend a lot more time thinking about them than you’d like to. Every bite of food or sip of ice water can make you cringe, which, considering that you eat several times a day, is a tough way to go through life! The fundamental reason sensitivity occurs is that the enamel becomes thin and no longer protects the deeper layers of the tooth where nerve resides. Keep reading to learn about 5 of the most common reasons this happens and how a dentist in North Port can help.

1. Clenching and Grinding

Forces from clenching and grinding are incredibly strong and can easily irritate the nerves of the teeth, which makes them sensitive to both temperature and normal chewing pressure.

2. Gum Recession

The crowns of your teeth are covered with enamel, a very hard substance that protects the deeper layers underneath as well as the nerve.

However, the roots of your teeth are not covered with enamel, so when the gum tissue recedes, it exposes these unprotected surfaces. That’s why pressure and cold temperatures can easily trigger a painful nerve response.

3. Chipped or Fractured Teeth

In some cases, teeth become sensitive because they’re chipped or fractured. That damages the protective enamel layer and exposes the sensitive layers underneath.

4. Teeth Whitening

Some people are susceptible to sensitivity during whitening, but it’s only temporary and typically subsides a day or two after they’re done. If you experience sensitivity during whitening, talk to your dentist about it because they can recommend easy ways to prevent it and/or treat it.

5. Orthodontics and Fillings

Orthodontic treatment can also temporarily cause sensitivity because the teeth are being moved into new positions over time, which can agitate the nerves of the teeth. Although it will go away when treatment is over, a dentist can recommend ways to reduce it.

And any existing fillings you have are subject to wear-and-tear and will need to be redone in time. If a filling has gotten close to this point, it may be a source of sensitivity until it’s replaced.

How Can Sensitivity Be Treated?

The first step is to schedule a visit with a dentist in North Port who can evaluate you. Once they’ve pinpointed the specific cause of your sensitivity, they’ll recommend the best treatment to alleviate it. Here are some possible recommendations:

  • Prescribing a high-fluoride toothpaste, which not only strengthens the enamel but is also a very effective desensitizer. Depending on your needs, they may simply recommend picking up a sensitivity formula at the store.
  • For a chipped tooth, old filling, or other damage such as a cavity, a filling or other restorative treatment may be necessary.
  • If a dentist sees signs that you’re clenching and grinding at night, they can make a custom-made nightguard to protect your teeth and reduce sensitivity.

Dealing with sensitive teeth is a pain (no pun intended), but with one of these solutions, you won’t have to anymore

About the Author

With over 20 years of experience as a general and emergency dentist in North Port, Dr. Paul Stein has treated countless patients with sensitivity. He knows how much it can impact their daily lives and always starts by closely evaluating their teeth and gums so he can recommend the best treatment. If you have sensitive teeth and have any other questions, he can be contacted via his website or at (941) 257-0826.