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Why Do My Teeth Hurt? Understanding Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitive Teeth Treatment Plantation Fl Dentists

Why Do My Teeth Hurt? Understanding Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitive Teeth Treatment Plantation Fl Dentists

Tooth sensitivity is a common issue that affects many people, manifesting as a sudden, sharp pain when your teeth are exposed to cold, heat, or sweet and acidic foods. Often, this discomfort arises when the underlying layers of tooth structure become exposed due to worn tooth enamel or receding gums. Understanding the causes and symptoms of this sensitivity alongside our Greater Fort Lauderdale, FL, dentists is the first step towards alleviating current pain and preventing future occurrences.

Here’s an overview of all things sensitive teeth and how you can find relief.

Typical Signs You May Have Sensitive Teeth

The biggest symptom if you have sensitive teeth is radiating pain, much like a toothache. More specifically, the discomfort is at the roots of the affected teeth.

As mentioned above, sensitivity becomes more obvious when you consume foods and beverages that are hot, cold, sweet, or acidic. Cold air, brushing and flossing teeth, or using alcohol-based mouthwash can also result in discomfort. Symptoms can range from mild to intense and appear only when triggered. Interestingly, not every tooth may be affected equally.

What Triggers Tooth Sensitivity?

Because having sensitive teeth is a commonly shared condition, several factors could be at play. Some individuals even experience tooth sensitivity naturally due to age. Our dentists will need to inspect your teeth and gums to determine what the exact cause is before we recommend treatment.

Sensitive teeth may be caused by: 

  • An exposed tooth root
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Fractured teeth
  • Fillings that are worn or damaged
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay or cavities
  • Aggressive brushing
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth at night (bruxism)
  • Regular consumption of acidic foods or beverages

Available Treatment Options

Fortunately, there are ways to treat sensitive teeth. The caveat, however, is that the treatment depends on the cause of sensitivity. To get started, one of our dentists will need to perform a dental exam to check your mouth.

The findings from the examination will then influence the ultimate decision on treatment. If you have mild tooth sensitivity, our dentists may recommend a desensitizing toothpaste or a softer toothbrush. A fluoride gel applied to your teeth to strengthen enamel may also prove helpful.

For more severe cases, treatment options may include a:

Underlying medical conditions contributing to sensitivity should also be treated separately to prevent further damage to enamel.

Proactive Steps to Reduce Tooth Sensitivity

Assuming you are not predisposed to sensitive teeth, there are ways to prevent the condition altogether. You may have to make a lifestyle adjustment, such as watching the foods that you eat. Other tips are easy, like regularly practicing oral hygiene habits.

Tooth enamel serves as the hard, protective layer for your teeth. When this covering wears down, the layer beneath your enamel, dentin, becomes exposed. Dentin is less dense and contains small, hollow tubules. Exposed tubules allow cold, hot, or acidic food and beverages to better reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. This then causes sensitivity.

Keep tooth sensitivity at bay by following these tips:

  • Don’t brush too hard and use a soft toothbrush
  • Limit how much you indulge in acidic foods or drinks, i.e., soda, candy
  • Seek treatment for teeth clenching or grinding to protect enamel
  • Ask our dentists about current or future teeth bleaching as it can result in sensitivity
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and come in for teeth cleanings every 6 months
  • Stay away from abrasive toothpaste

Make an Appointment Today

The goal of our dentists serving Plantation and Greater Fort Lauderdale, FL, is to help you enjoy your favorite foods and drinks without discomfort. Together, we’ll find the treatment that works for you and do our best to make your sensitive teeth a thing of the past. Call Barr Dental Group today at (954) 327-7400 to request an appointment.