One of the most common causes of toothaches is over-sensitivity. Teeth start to feel extremely sensitive when the layer underneath the enamel of your tooth (dentin) or the layer that covers the root underneath the gum line (cementum) is exposed. The quickest way to tell if you have sensitive teeth is experiencing unbearable pain when your teeth are exposed to semi-extreme temperatures, like ice water or hot coffee. Even super sweet or spicy foods can trigger the pain of sensitive teeth.
Why Are Your Teeth So Sensitive?
A number of factors contribute to how or why the inner layers of your teeth are exposed.
Either you’re vigorously scrubbing your teeth for over two minutes twice a day, or the bristles of your tooth brush are much too firm. There is such a thing as over- brushing. If you are brushing too hard or for too long, the enamel will actually start to scrub off with the plaque that it’s stuck to.
Extremely inflamed gums is a sign of gum disease. When gums are inflamed, they begin to recede because of breakage and bacteria.
When you grind your teeth, it wears down the sharp edges that help you bite into food and chew. What most people don’t know, is that it also wears down the enamel, exposing the dentin layer which is extremely sensitive.
How Do I Get Rid of Tooth Sensitivity?
Special sensitive toothpaste is made to help build up the enamel lost from over brushing and grinding. They usually contain potassium nitrate or stannous fluoride, both block tubules in dentin and reduce exposure.
If you are over brushing, it is probably because your toothbrush is too strong for your mouth. Look for toothbrushes labeled “soft” or “small.”
If these remedies seem to have no effect on the extent of your tooth sensitivity, consider visiting your dentist for a check-up. Greenspoint Dental in the Houston, Texas area offers cleaning services and techniques to keep your teeth protected from extreme sensitivity and build strong enamel.