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Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common tooth issues for many Americans; in fact, as many as 1 in 8 American adults may have sensitive teeth. Also known as dentin hypersensitivity, you may notice tooth sensitivity after eating or drinking something hot or cold, such as tea or ice cream.
It can affect just one tooth or several teeth (perhaps even every tooth), with several causes. Thankfully, there are effective treatment methods, which we will highlight in this blog post.
Keep reading to learn more about tooth sensitivity and dental health.
What Are the Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth?
Pain or discomfort is the primary symptom of sensitive teeth, which certain stimuli will trigger. Common triggers include foods and drinks that are hot, cold, acidic, or sweet. If you have sensitive teeth, brushing or flossing can also trigger pain or discomfort, as may alcohol-based mouth rinses.
What Are the Causes of Sensitive Teeth?
A protective outer layer called enamel covers the soft, nerve-filled center of our teeth. This wears down over time, leading to sensitivity.
Causes of this deterioration include:
- Frequently consuming highly acidic food (such as fruit)
- Drinking acidic or carbonated beverages like soda
- Brushing your teeth too vigorously
- Grinding your teeth at night while you sleep
There are several other potential causes of tooth sensitivity. For example, gum recession may result in sections of teeth being exposed. This may also occur if you have tooth decay, chipped teeth, or broken teeth.
Tooth sensitivity is also a sign that you may require a root canal. If you are unsure, consult your dentist for expert advice.
Temporary sensitivity may be experienced following dental treatment, mainly following fillings, crowns, and teeth whitening procedures. However, this sensitivity generally only lasts a few days.
How Is Tooth Sensitivity Treated?
For those with mild tooth sensitivity, over-the-counter dental treatments are available. You can also switch the toothpaste that is specifically designed for people with sensitive teeth. It is also recommended to switch to an alcohol-free mouth rinse.
Root canal pain and tooth sensitivity can be linked; a root canal procedure is straightforward and performed by a general dentist. A root canal procedure usually takes between 30 minutes and 1 hour to complete.
Other possible treatment options for tooth sensitivity include wearing a mouthguard at night to prevent teeth grinding, switching to a softer toothbrush, and reducing your intake of foods and drinks that are high in sugar and acid.
Tooth Sensitivity Treatment Works
Tooth sensitivity affects millions of Americans and can cause severe discomfort. There are several simple steps that you can take to reduce tooth sensitivity, while a root canal procedure can also be effective. However, if you do notice tooth sensitivity, it is advised that you speak to your dentist rather than ignoring the problem.
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