Do you get a jolt of pain whenever you drink ice water or munch on candy? You might have sensitive teeth. Our teeth are complex, living structures that harbor delicate nerves. Most of the time, these are protected by a hard layer of enamel. But they can become exposed for various reasons, resulting in tooth sensitivity. Here are four:
– Receding gums. Gums can recede or pull away from teeth because of gum disease or other reasons. When they do, they expose portions of the tooth root. Tooth enamel doesn’t extend down this far, and so sensations like extreme temperature or sweetness can reach and irritate tooth nerves.
– Teeth whitening. Teeth whitening products typically use some kind of peroxide, which can soften enamel. Whenever enamel is compromised, teeth become more sensitive. Stopping the whitening procedure generally stops sensitivity.
– Wear and tear. All teeth experience some level of daily wear. When this is exasperated by brushing too hard, eating acidic foods, or teeth grinding, enamel can be damaged and the inner layers of the tooth exposed.
– Age. You might think that older people would be more prone to sensitive teeth, but that isn’t necessarily true. Teeth are naturally most sensitive between the ages of 25 and 30.
To alleviate sensitive teeth, you can use a toothpaste for specially-formulated for the purpose. You can also strengthen tooth enamel by using fluoride. To learn more about how to improve your oral health, or to schedule an appointment with our dentists, please call Sierra Vista Dental in Sierra Vista, AZ, today.