Sensitive teeth can be defined as a susceptibility to pressure or temperature changes; the degree of sensitivity varies from person to person, and it is also influenced by whatever caused the condition. While in some cases, the cause for sensitive teeth is obvious; in others, you might experience at times with no discernible reason.
What causes sensitive teeth?
The inside of your tooth is made of dentin, which harbors very small nerve endings. The dentin in turn is protected by a hard outer layer called the enamel and a layer of cementum. According to the ADA (American Dental Association), sensitive teeth happen whenever the dentin loses its protective covering, exposing the nerve endings and making them more susceptible to react to hot, cold, acids and pressure.
There are many causes linked to the loss of enamel, and the more extreme the cause, the more likely it is for you to experience sensitive teeth.
If you have a bad oral hygiene then you can expect to feel sensitivity sooner or later. Tooth decay and cavities destroy the enamel, exposing the dentin. On the other hand, plaque and tartar cause the recession of the gum, leaving the root surface exposed.
If you grind your teeth at night then you might also end up having sensitive teeth, same goes for people who brush with hard toothbrushes and with an aggressive technique. Others might experience sensitivity after consuming high amounts of acidic food and drinks.
Finally, if you experience sensitivity and you are pretty sure that you don’t fit any of the above; you might just be naturally predisposed to sensitive teeth.
Home remedies for sensitive teeth
The first thing you should do with sensitive tooth is to avoid hot and cold foods, also eat and brush gently. With that said:
- Use desensitizing toothpaste; this product is specially designed to provide an analgesic effect.
- Mix a spoon of baking soda in a glass of water and rinse with it. Baking soda will help strengthen your enamel and help you alleviate the symptoms.
- Use a soft toothbrush to avoid further harm to your enamel.
- Some patients report that chewing bubblegum helps with the sensitivity, give it a try; but if you do, remember to chew sugarless gum.
- And finally, go see a dentist, specially if the sensation doesn’t go away on its own, or if it keeps coming back. You need to find the root cause and treat, your sensitivity could be a warning sign.