If you have tooth sensitivity, you know what a pain it can be. Some people just totally avoid overly sweet, spicy, hot, or cold foods just so they don’t have to deal with the pain. Or, they buy toothpastes designed for people with sensitive teeth. But avoidance and over the counter products don’t really get at the root of the issue, do they? Read on to find out what your tooth sensitivity is trying to tell you.
You May Be Brushing too Hard
Let’s set the record straight— harder brushing does not equal better brushing. In fact, harder brushing can do much more damage than good. Hard brushing over time can actually wear down the enamel (the protective hard white part) of your tooth over time, therefore leading your tooth to be largely unprotected in the face of cold iced tea or hot spicy curry. After the enamel gets worn down, it exposes dentin, a soft substance that helps sustain the tooth. The dentin is linked directly to the nerve of your
tooth, and here is where your sensitivity happens. Hard brushing is also bad news for your gums—it can cause gum recession, further exposing the dentin. Proper brushing involves gentler brush strokes.
You May be Grinding Your Teeth
People who grind their teeth are generally not aware of the fact that they are doing it. It can happen in our sleep, when we’re blissfully unaware of the grinding taking place. The ligaments that connect the tooth to your jaw can get inflamed when you grind, as you are putting an excessive amount of force on your jaw. Your nerve then gets aggravated and makes your mouth more affected by extreme temperatures. Clenching and grinding your teeth is not healthy, and you may not even be aware that you’re doing it. Seeing your dentist can help to determine if you’re a grinder and if so, what you can do about it. Your tooth sensitivity may be a result of a clenched or grinding action that can be bad news for your whole mouth!
You May Have Tooth Decay or Gum Disease
Tooth sensitivity can affect one tooth or several—regardless of how extreme your tooth sensitivity is, it could be pointing at a larger issue. Tooth sensitivity may be the result of tooth decay or gum disease. If these problems go untreated while you’re buying sensitive toothpastes and overlooking the issue, your problem could get a lot worse without you even knowing it. The longer you wait to address your sensitivity, the more costly the solution could be. Visit your dentist to find out if you may be experiencing symptoms of gum disease or tooth decay.
Don’t just accept your sensitivity as part of your mouth health—a healthy mouth should not be painful. Instead of buying products that only mask the issue, visit your dentist to make sure your mouth is healthy. Your tooth sensitivity may be trying to tell you that you’re brushing too hard, grinding your teeth, or have a more serious issue such as tooth decay or gum disease going on.