Do you experience shooting pain through your teeth when you drink something hot or bite into something cold? If so, you may be suffering from sensitive teeth. It’s a common problem for many people, but our dental office in Chicago wants to help explain some possible reasons behind your sensitivity and how we can fix it.
Although tooth enamel is really strong stuff, it can be worn away by chronically scraping teeth together through clenching or grinding (also known as bruxism). When enamel erodes it leaves the middle part of the tooth exposed and sensitivity results. Tooth clenching and grinding can not only lead to sensitivity, but also other dental problems like cracked or chipped teeth which require restorative dentistry to repair.
Solution: Tooth clenching and grinding can be treated. Typically a custom-made bruxism mouthguard is recommended. These mouthguards keep your teeth from scraping together, protecting them from damage.
Although it seems to make sense that the harder you brush your teeth, the cleaner your mouth will be, that just isn’t the case. Using a side-to-side motion or scrubbing too vigorously will make enamel wear down more quickly than normal, increasing the risk of tooth sensitivity.
Solution: Revise your brushing technique. You should brush using small, gentle circles while holding your brush at a 45 degree angle. You may also want to make sure your brush has soft bristles for an even gentler clean.
One of the common symptoms of gum disease is sensitivity. Why? Gum disease can cause the gums to recede, exposing the tooth roots. These roots contain nerves and if these nerves are unprotected, it can be very painful. In addition to sensitivity, signs of gum disease can include red, swollen, and bleeding gums.
Solution: See your dentist in Chicago as soon as you can. Gum disease is a serious concern that can not only cause tooth sensitivity, but also contributes to whole body problems like strokes and heart disease.
If you have sensitive teeth, give our Chicago dental office a call to schedule an appointment with us. We’ll work with you to determine the cause and discuss relief options.