As a dentist near you serving Grand Rapids often advises, tooth sensitivity is one of the most common problems in general dentistry. Tooth sensitivity occurs when dental patients feel pain or discomfort when eating foods or drinking beverages that are hot, cold, or especially sweet. Tooth sensitivity can lead to other oral health problems, so you should advise your dentist right away if you have developed sensitive teeth. Read on to learn more about common causes of tooth sensitivity, including forceful brushing, teeth grinding, and plaque accumulation.
In general dentistry, forceful tooth brushing is the most common cause of tooth sensitivity. Dentists advise patients of all ages to use only soft-bristled toothbrushes and never apply more pressure than is necessary to fully clean teeth. If you brush your teeth with moderate to hard strokes or use a hard-bristled toothbrush, you will scrub off your tooth enamel. Without this hard outer covering, the tubules that lead to your dental nerves are exposed. As a result, you may experience pain or discomfort when eating hot, cold, sweet, acidic, or sticky foods.
Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding is another reason so many people suffer from sensitive teeth. Your teeth may be the strongest parts of your body, but when they rub together, they can become seriously damaged. Grinding your teeth also wears down your tooth enamel, exposing the middle dentin layer. Fortunately, your dentist can create a custom mouth guard to wear each night when you go to sleep. Your mouthguard will prevent tooth pain and additional damage.
Family dentistry has linked plaque accumulation and tooth sensitivity. If you do not brush and floss regularly, this sticky bacterial film will build up between your teeth and along your gum line. Over time, excessive plaque build-up wears down your dental enamel. As your family dental provider will tell you, plaque also causes tooth decay and gum disease. If your gums begin to recede due to gingivitis, you will experience even more tooth sensitivity.