Summer is a time of hot temperatures and cold treats, but sometimes, even the thought of biting into an ice cream cone makes people cringe and flinch. If you are one of these people, you know exactly how much it can complicate your life.
Avoiding ice cream and popsicles in the summer and hot coffees and soups in the winter may not seem like that big of an inconvenience until it happens to you. One of the biggest complaints among dental patients is tooth sensitivity. Drs. Doolin and Haddad of Rochester, MI offer an explanation and tips to correct your sensitivities.
Why Does This Happen?
While there are a lot of possibilities for the cause of the pain, there are some common causes to be on the lookout for:
- Aggressive brushing. If you consistently use too much force when brushing your teeth or you use a hard-bristled brush, you can damage the enamel, the attractive protective outer layer of your teeth. When the enamel is damaged, the dentin underneath can be sensitive.
- Teeth grinding. If you find yourself clenching your jaw often from stress, or your body naturally does it at night, it can lead to sensitivities. While it’s common to clench or grind, the danger happens when you find yourself doing it as a habit, rather than occasionally.
- Receding gums and poor oral care. Gums usually recede for three reasons (and as always there are exceptions) which are overbrushing, grinding, or poor oral care. We’ve already mentioned what overbrushing does to your teeth, but it can also damage your gums. With grinding, you physically put pressure on your teeth that your mouth cannot keep up with and the force causes your gums to pull away from the root of your teeth. With poor oral care, it is easier to get an infection from food or bacteria left in the space between the teeth. When an infection is present, the root of your tooth can be exposed which causes pain.
- Toothpaste choice. Certain toothpastes contain abrasives for more effective cleaning, but for those patients that are already prone to sensitive teeth, it can actually do more harm than good.
- Food choice. Some foods like oranges or lemons are naturally acidic, but unfortunately, this also can cause enamel erosion. If your diet consists of a lot of acidic foods, you may be putting yourself at risk.
- Mouthwash overuse. Like with your choice of food, some mouthwash can contain acids. Many also contain alcohol, which dries the mouth and can irritate the gums, leading to exposure of tooth roots.
- Whitening treatments. Whitening your teeth, whether in a dental office like Doolin-Haddad Advanced Dentistry or at home on your own, can involve strong chemicals that removes minerals from your teeth. Occasionally this results in sensitivities to temperature.
- Cavities. Some oral bacteria living on your teeth feed on sugars and excrete acid. This acid attacks your tooth enamel, creating cavities. These small holes in your enamel can make your teeth sensitive. Regular checkups and cleanings help protect your teeth from this damage.
- Gingivitis. A mild form of gum disease, this can cause painful swelling and other dental issues.
- Dental procedures. While most dentists don’t like admitting this, some treatments, like crowns or whitening can cause sensitive teeth. However, this is usually a temporary pain and for the most part, disappears after a few days or weeks, once your mouth has healed.
How Do I Treat My Sensitive Teeth?
Unfortunately for most sensitive teeth, there is no absolute cure. The good news is that there are many treatments available to you and to find the best one takes one step: go see your dentist!
Here at Doolin-Haddad Advanced Dentistry, we understand exactly how to treat most causes of sensitive teeth. We might recommend the best over-the-counter option, provide prescription toothpaste, or find a more comprehensive solution that treats and reduces the amount of pain you are in on a daily basis. We can find the best solution for you.
Ready to eat your ice cream again or looking to improve your smile? Contact us today! Located in beautiful Rochester, MI, we offer convenient online booking, or you can just give us a call at (248) 656-2020. We look forward to hearing from you.