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Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Causes of Tooth SensitivityMany of us have experienced that unpleasant zing that occurs when enjoying an ice cold drink or a sharp pain when eating something sweet or sour. That pain or discomfort is also known as tooth sensitivity, and an estimated 40 million Americans suffer from it. Tooth sensitivity limits an individual’s ability to enjoy many of life’s little treats, including cold, hot, and sweet or sour beverages or foods. Tooth sensitivity can be experienced occasionally, or it can be a chronic condition. It is generally caused by hypersensitive dentin or exposed roots caused by receding gums.

Chronic vomiting such as that associated with hyperemesis gravidarum, bulimia or GERD can erode the protective coating of dental enamel, as can overzealous brushing or brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush. Once the enamel is destroyed, it cannot be recovered. The exposed dentin allows the fluid within to more easily transmit temperature and other changes to the nerves inside the tooth, which leads to pain.

Chronic tooth sensitivity should be mentioned at your next dental exam. Our dentist can determine the cause of your sensitivity and make the most appropriate recommendations, from special toothpastes to treatments that will protect exposed roots. Limiting the number of acidic foods in your diet can help if your sensitivity is due to enamel erosion. Fluoride treatments can also help protect your teeth from sensitivity and reduce the risk of tooth decay.

Any sudden onset of sensitivity may indicate another problem, such as a broken tooth or a cavity. Contact our West Hollywood dentist to schedule an appointment or to learn more.


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