Tooth sensitivity is an issue that affects 1 in every 8 adults. Lifestyle choices and improper dental care, poor eating habits are some of the leading factors attributed to the sensitivity people experience.
The feeling is like a sharp, sudden, jolt of pain that shoots through the tooth down to its roots. Dentists often associate it with the wearing out of the tooth enamel as well as gum recession.
Fortunately, most of the dental issues can be treated and avoided. But the best approach starts with knowing the causes so that you know how to address them. Some of the top reasons for tooth sensitivity include:
1. Acidic Foods and Drinks
The acid in certain foods and beverages increases the degradation of tooth enamel that speeds up wearing and decay. Over time, the wear of the teeth leads to sensitivity that also worsens over time.
Therefore, dentists recommend that you reduce your consumption of such foods and drinks and avoid taking them when you are about to go to bed. That means you should avoid sodas, energy drinks, citrus fruits and fruit juices, wines, and coffee.
2. Lack of Oral Hygiene
Dental health experts recommend that you brush at least once a day, especially before jumping into bed.
Cleaning the teeth at the end of the day will see to it that you remove the food particles that lead to the build-up of plaque, dental decay, and subsequently, tooth sensitivity.
3. Aggressive Brushing
It is possible to brush and clean your teeth, gums, and mouth every day and still experience sensitivity. It is a matter that baffles many people.
The reason for this is mostly the incorrect brushing techniques that can be too aggressive that it damages the enamel and gums. You should ensure that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Take your time while brushing (around five minutes) and be gentle as you move the brush over your teeth and gums in a mild back, and forth motion.
When you swish your mouth with mouthwash, use a product rich in fluoride. If you are using water, ensure it is lukewarm.
4. Using the Wrong Dental Care Products
The market is awash with different kinds of toothpaste and dental hygiene products.
For instance, toothpaste with little or no fluoride will not help preserve tooth enamel. As such, using such a product will result in tooth sensitivity. People that have highly sensitive teeth and gums are advised to use desensitizing toothpaste that contain fluoride and potassium nitrates as active ingredients.
5. Periodontal Disease
Receding gums (periodontal disease) are a significant factor in the cases of tooth sensitivity. The gums are meant to be attached at the base of the teeth.
But when the gums pull away, they leave room for bacteria to take reign and affect the enamel and the dentin of the roots of the teeth cause sharp pain when you eat, drink and brush.
6. Grinding the Teeth
Some people have a compulsive habit of grinding or gnashing their teeth, especially when they are stressed. Grinding the teeth together damages the enamel increasing sensitivity. You can avoid this by chewing dental gum when you get the urge.
For people whose grinding is severely habitual can use products such as the Chinese meridian balls to help them relax.
7. Improper Tooth Position
At times, teeth get crowded as they develop. Some are rotated, and this results in improper grinding of the teeth when chewing that damages the tooth enamel.
The turned and crowded teeth also are hard to clean properly to prevent the formation of plaque. Eventually, issues of tooth sensitivity, cavities, and tooth loss will take precedence.
8. Broken Down Dental Fillings or Restorations
Some dental fillings and restorations are not designed to last long. They are subject to wear and tear and will create room for bacteria to thrive and plaque to form, leading to sensitivity.
9. Dry Mouth
A lack of saliva characterizes a dry mouth. It is a condition medically known as xerostomia.
The role of saliva in the mouth is to help with balancing the bacteria in the mouth and prevent dental decay. It washes away food particles, thus lowering the risk of plaque. Therefore, the lack of saliva can be attributed to cases of tooth sensitivity.
Consider which of these causes are the reason for your oral health problems and take positive steps to avoid or eliminate them.
In most cases, observing proper oral hygiene and dietary habits that promote dental health, as well as routine visits to the dentist, will sort you out.