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Sensitive Teeth – The Seven Major Causes

Do you have Sensitive Teeth?

Sensitive Teeth

Here are the seven main ways in which tooth sensitivity is caused to help you make sure your teeth do not start or continue to suffer from the painful condition.

Tooth sensitivity that causes pain occurs when dentin, the underlying layer of the tooth, is exposed from its covering of solid enamel. This exposure occurs due to gum tissue receding from the teeth, allowing air, liquid and food particles to come into contact with the sensitive roots, which have no enamel protection and instead rely on dentin. Within the root, many tiny tubes lead through the tooth to its very centre (the pulp) which, when stimulated by cold or heat, causes the sharp pain.

The problem can be caused or exacerbated in many ways, including;

  • Incorrect or inadequate brushing technique. Neglecting to brush the teeth or not brushing them correctly means that plaque and tartar will form, leading to tooth decay near the gumline and accompanying sensitivity. Equally, hard and over-enthusiastic brushing can also be a problem over time as it can cause the gum tissue to become separated from the teeth.

  • Cracked teeth. Teeth that are chipped or otherwise damaged are often particularly sensitive as the minute cracks harbour damaging plaque bacteria which can, in some cases, enter the sensitive pulp.

  • Bruxism (excessive clenching and/or grinding of the teeth). This can happen for many reasons and wears down tooth enamel to expose the dentin beneath.

  • Age. Studies have shown that the sensitivity of teeth is highest among those aged 25-30.

  • Gingivitis. Known commonly as gum disease, gingivitis causes the gums to become sore and inflamed, eventually destroying supporting ligaments and revealing the root surface of the tooth.

  • Long-term mouthwash use. Some mouthwashes bought over-the-counter contain certain acids that can increase tooth sensitivity as well as worsening the damage to dentin.

  • Acidic food and drink. Consuming these products, such as tomatoes, tea, sweets, pickles, alcohol and citrus fruit, raise the level of acid in the mouth to a level which can erode tooth enamel.

Lancashire Dental offer a comprehensive general dentistry service which includes professional brushing and hygiene advice, detailed examinations, fillings, root canal treatment, adult orthodontics, fissure sealants and, in the worst case and only when every other avenue of treatment has been considered, extractions. These services and more are complemented by a superior offering of cosmetic dentistry services, from teeth whitening and dental implants to veneers and full, advanced dental restorations.

For more information or to book an appointment right away, please call 01254 51579 or email us at info@lancashiredental.co.uk.

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