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Sensitive teeth are annoying and cause pain sensations with certain tastes and characteristics of food and drinks. Several causes underlie this problem, the main one being refractory gums. What are other causes of tooth sensitivity and what can you do about it to prevent or remedy this problem?
Teeth consist of three different layers. The outer layer is called the tooth enamel and is the strongest. This is followed by the core of the tooth, which is made up of dentin or tartar, which is softer and contains many small canals. Finally, inside the core is dental pulp.
When you suffer from tooth sensitivity, you often experience a short and fierce twinge of pain. This occurs when the soft dentin in a tooth and the canals within it are exposed. This is because these tiny canals form a direct connection with the inner dental pulp and a pain stimulus occurs if you eat or drink something hot, cold, acidic or sweet.
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Teeth feel sensitive because certain properties of food and drink trigger a reaction in the deeper layers of teeth. This reaction can have several causes, which are briefly explained below.
The main sensitive teeth cause is having receded gums, which expose the soft dentin of a tooth and cause the tiny canals to cause a pain stimulus when eating or drinking cold, hot, sweet or sour foods or drinks.
Certain acids in food and drinks attack tooth enamel and this process is also known as tooth erosion. This can eventually cause sensitive teeth.
Tooth enamel is a hard layer, but it can gradually wear away, exposing the dentin underneath, resulting in tooth sensitivity.
Wear of tooth enamel can occur from certain foods or drinks, such as strong acids, but also from the way you brush. If you brush too often and hard, the enamel can wear away faster. Also, gums recede faster this way.
Cavities in your teeth also affect the tooth enamel and the deeper structures, leading to sensitivity.
Cracked teeth or molars easily lead to exposed dentin, making it easier to trigger a pain stimulus.
Teeth grinding can cause gum and tooth enamel wear due to the high force. It often happens unconsciously during sleep.
During tooth whitening, enamel and gums are affected, which can cause sensitivity.
Mouthwashes often contain harmful substances, including alcohol, which can dry out the mouth and damage teeth.
After a dental visit, your teeth may be more sensitive. If you continue to suffer from sensitive teeth, it is important to visit the dentist to find out the exact cause and prevent further problems.
You may be wondering “my teeth are sensitive, what can I do about this?”, to which we provide an answer with our wide range of oral care products. For example, use our bamboo or electric toothbrush, tartar remover, water flosser or toothpaste tablets to prevent tooth enamel wear. It is also important not to brush too often and hard and to wait at least an hour before brushing after consuming acidic food or drinks.
Frequently asked questions
What causes sensitive teeth?
Sensitive teeth can have several causes, but most often it is due to receded gums and compromised tooth enamel, causing a pain stimulus in the deeper tooth layers.
What causes sudden sensitive teeth?
Sensitive teeth are caused by receding gums, tooth enamel wear, brushing too hard and often, teeth grinding and/or whitening and excessive use of mouthwash, among others.
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