Most of those who suffer from sensitive teeth probably can’t remember a time when dental discomfort wasn’t a part of their everyday life. It becomes so ‘normal’ and accepted that you almost get the feeling you were born with sensitive teeth. In reality however, it’s hardly unlikely that this was the case at all. Instead, your teeth became sensitive along the way to one degree or another, making it difficult to even look at hot or cold foods the same way you used to.
The question being…why? Why do some people seem predisposed to develop sensitive teeth during life? And what is the most common causes of sensitivity?
In answer to the first question, no one really knows. There are some people who despite having less than ideal oral hygiene standards never encounter a shred of sensitivity. By contrast, others follow every rule in the book and still end up in a state of near-constant pain and discomfort.
That said, research has shown that there are certain contributory factors that can increase a person’s likelihood of developing sensitive teeth. So if you’ve recently started suffering sensitivity and can’t quite figure out why, there’s a good chance it comes down to one of the following causes:
1. Brushing Too Aggressively
First and foremost, brushing harder isn’t brushing better. And nor for that matter is brushing longer. If you’ve fallen into the habit of brushing your teeth too aggressively as a means by which to get the job done better, you certainly aren’t in the minority. Unfortunately, you’re also probably doing more harm than good. Sporting built-in pressure-sensors that help you keep an eye on things, quality electric toothbrushes come highly recommended. Particularly for those with sensitive teeth, who may be their own worst enemies when it comes to aggressive brushing.
2. Whitening Products
Not so much all whitening products in general, but rather the wrong whitening products or overuse thereof. Right now, there are plenty of outstanding DIY teeth whitening kits on the market which are considered comprehensively safe to use. That is of course, unless you happen to suffer from sensitive teeth. The very nature of many whitening kits and treatments makes them something of a hazard the sensitive teeth. Or if you don’t already have sensitive teeth, poor quality whitening kits or getting carried away with how often you use them can increase the risk of sensitivity. As such, it’s a good idea to proceed with caution and only ever use premium products, while following the manufacturer’s guidelines to the letter.
3. Low-End Mouthwash
Believe it or not, too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing at all when it comes to mouthwash. Particularly if you happen to use the kinds of products that are either spectacularly strong or woefully substandard. In both instances, you expose your teeth to the kinds of things which have the potential to be beneficial in small doses on a daily basis. However, if you get carried away and use too much of them too frequently, you could end up doing more harm than good. Again, it’s a case of proceeding in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines and consulting your dentist or pharmacist if necessary.
4. Dietary Habits
Everybody knows that there are certain dietary choices which don’t exactly bode well for oral health. Nevertheless, quite a lot of people completely ignore dentists’ guidelines and eat and drink whatever they like. The problem being that in doing so, you tend to do the kind of damage that doesn’t become noticeable until it is relatively advanced. Dietary habits that are not good for your teeth represent one of the most common causes of sensitivity. On the plus side, positive changes to dietary habits can be effective in taming tooth sensitivity.
5. Gum Disease
It’s always a good idea to discuss tooth sensitivity with your dentist – especially if it is severe or has only become a problem recently. The reason being that sensitive teeth can be a sign of gum disease. If this is the case, it generally turns out to be nothing particularly severe and can be treated with simple oral hygiene products and the more proactive daily regime. Nevertheless, ignoring gum disease will only lead to more severe sensitivity over time, not to mention a variety of potential problems including tooth loss. For obvious reasons, even the slightest signs and symptoms of gum disease should not be overlooked.
6. Plaque Buildup
Sensitivity can also be a sign that you are not doing a good enough job getting rid of the plaque that is building up within your mouth. Plaque forms all over the mouth after you eat and needs to be removed manually. The problem is that the vast majority of people tend to miss relatively large areas of the mouth, each time they brush. Where plaque is allowed to build up, it slowly but surely wears away the enamel that protects the surface of the teeth. And when this happens, the teeth become significantly more sensitive. Not to mention, more likely to succumb to decay.
7. Cracks or Chips
When sensitivity seems to come out of nowhere, it could be that the tooth or teeth in question are cracked or chipped. The vast majority of people will find that one or more of their teeth become slightly chipped or damaged during the course of their life – most examples of which are nothing to worry about. Nevertheless, more severe cases may not necessarily trigger any pain or discomfort directly, but could cause heightened sensitivity. As such, many cases of sensitivity that are particularly severe or sudden should be brought to the attention of a dental professional at the earliest possible juncture.
8. Dental Procedures
Last but not least, there are literally hundreds of examples of dental procedures that can cause teeth to be significantly more sensitive than they were before. Which is of course a bit of a catch 22 situation – given the way in which dental procedures are supposed to minimise or reduce discomfort! Nevertheless, if you have had any kind of dental procedure carried out recently, there’s every chance you will experience a certain amount of sensitivity and discomfort for the foreseeable future at least.