Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem where a tooth or a few teeth feel pain or discomfort when they come in contact with certain substances and certain temperatures.
First off, your tooth feels sensitive because the dentin on your tooth is being exposed which leaves a clear opening to the nerves inside the tooth. The dentin is normally protected by your gums or your enamel so when it comes in contact with hot or cold liquids or certain foods it might elicit a temporary response of pain.
A lot of the times if a tooth starts to feel sensitive we immediately think of cavities as the culprit. However, that’s not always the case.
In fact, there are many different reasons that your tooth might be feeling sensitive:
- Teeth grinding or clenching, brushing too hard with a hard-bristled tooth brush, eating acidic foods can wear down your enamel and expose the dentin
- Periodontal disease or Gingivitis can cause your gums to become inflamed and sore leading them to recede and expose the dentin
- If a cracked tooth is not treated, it can become filled with bacteria and cause inflammation which would lead your tooth to feel sensitive.
- Use of acidic mouthwashes can damage the dentin layer if they are used for too long. If you use mouthwash,
makesure to pick one that is neutral. Check out this article to learn about how to pick out a mouthwash.