causes of tooth sensitivityORANGE CITY AND DELTONA, FL

You may feel an odd sensation in our teeth on occasion, usually due to extremely hot or cold temperatures. Consistent heightened tooth sensitivity can be a sign of a more significant problem that could be jeopardizing your dental health. Your Orange City dentist Terry Soule, DDS, wants to explore this problem, as well as some of the common causes of tooth sensitivity, and what you can do about it.

Here’s what happens when your tooth sensitivity increases

Your teeth are made up of several layers. The outermost layer, your enamel, protects your teeth against potential threats like decay and injury. Enamel deteriorates as part of the natural aging process. Further attrition can occur due to wear, diet, or not being diligent about your oral hygiene. If a weak spot forms in your tooth enamel, the nerves become exposed—and this can cause the sensation you feel due to stimuli such as hot and cold, when eating sweets, or when brushing your teeth.  

Your gums also can contribute to increased tooth sensitivity. Your gums can recede due to gum disease or age, potentially exposing the tooth roots, which can be quite sensitive to temperature changes in the mouth.

Certain dental health issues can cause heightened tooth sensitivity

Tooth decay also can be a culprit, producing pain when you bite down or due to changes in temperature.

Bruxism (the clinical term for teeth grinding) can make your teeth more sensitive as well. Many people who suffer from bruxism never realize it, because they grind their teeth while sleeping. This habit can deteriorate enamel and devastate your teeth, even wearing them down to nubs, which can lead to tooth pain.

Other oral problems that can impact tooth sensitivity include having a tooth that is chipped or broken, or damage to a restoration like a filling or crown.

How can you prevent tooth sensitivity?

Diet: if you’re regularly consuming foods and drinks with a high acid content, these acids eat away at your tooth enamel, potentially exposing those nerves.

Bruxism treatment: If you’ve been diagnosed with teeth grinding in Orange City, seek help from your dentist. Terry Soule, DDS, can provide a custom-made mouth guard. When worn, this protects your teeth from further damage due to bruxism.

Brushing habits: Are you overbrushing? This occurs when you’re brushing your teeth too vigorously, which can increase your risk of gum recession or do damage to your enamel. Use a softer technique, moving your brush in circles instead of a back and forth motion. Also, be sure you’re using a soft-bristled toothbrush when you brush.

See your dentist: Regular check-ups are your best defense against potentially serious or painful oral health issues. By visiting your dentist every six months as recommended by the American Dental Association, your dentist can maintain an ongoing, accurate record of your oral health. Moreover, this makes it easier to identify significant changes that could be signs that there is a problem.

At Terry Soule, DDS, each check-up includes an examination of your teeth and mouth. Dr. Soule also offers these examinations for new patients—part of a current $89 special that includes X-rays and follow-up consultation. If you’re living with sensitive teeth or you’ve lapsed in your regular schedule of dental visits, call the office of Terry Soule, DDS, today at (386) 775-1552. We’re proud to serve patients in the areas of DeBary, Deltona, and Orange City, FL.