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May 18, 2022

This is a question that is asked every single day in our dental practice. "What causes tooth sensitivity? " "What can I do to make it better? " Well, there are lots of things to consider when answering this question. There are many different reasons why you could be experiencing tooth sensitivity. Here are a few of the most common causes, and what we can do to get you out of pain!

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  1. You grind your teeth - Do you grind your teeth at night, or even during the day when you're feeling a little stressed? Lots of people clench and grind their teeth. This can wear down your enamel and expose the pathways to your nerve, making them more susceptible to sensitivity. A comfortable night guard made by your dentist can prevent you from grinding and stop the wear on your teeth that is causing sensitivity!
  2. You use teeth whitening products - Everyone wants that bright white smile that they see on T.V. and in magazines. Whitening toothpastes and strips can sometimes contain chemicals that cause sensitivity after use. Ask your dentist for low sensitivity whitening options that can give you the smile you want, without the pain!
  3. You're brushing too hard! - There is such a thing as brushing too hard. We appreciate your enthusiasm, but you could potentially be doing more harm than good. Brushing too aggressively with a hard bristle brush can actually cause your gums to recede, exposing a very sensitive root surface! Get in the habit of using gentle brush strokes with a soft bristle brush.
  4. Decay around or under old fillings - As we get older, so do the fillings in our mouth. They may start to leak or pull away from the tooth. When this happens, bacteria gets into those tiny openings and decay can form. It's important to remove that decay while it's small to avoid procedures like root canal therapy.
  5. Your tooth is cracked - You're probably thinking, "I'd know if my tooth was cracked." and to that I would say, "Not necessarily! " Lots of times we see patients who suffer from sensitivity, and upon examining the tooth in question, we can see fractures lines that would not be visible to the naked eye. Using technology like intraoral cameras and low radiation digital x-rays, we can show you those fracture lines that could be causing you pain, and recommend appropriate treatment to getting rid of that pain!

These are just a few reasons why you might be feeling tooth sensitivity. The best way to manage sensitivity is to see your dentist for an exam, pinpoint what's causing it, and get the appropriate treatment. Sometimes treatment is as simple as switching toothpastes! Getting regular cleanings, exams and x-rays are the best ways to prevent tooth sensitivity and future dental problems.

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