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When tooth enamel is worn down, sensitivity develops so that even brief exposure to temperature sensitive food or even cold air can make your teeth hurt. Tooth sensitivity is when the layer of dentin with its microscopic tubules filled with nerve endings is exposed. While tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the human body, dentin is much more sensitive. So what causes sensitivity in the teeth?

Tooth Sensitivity Can Be Caused By:

–Brushing your teeth harshly or using a hard-bristled toothbrush.
–Eating acidic foods will hurt exposed nerves.
–Grinding your teeth at night while you sleep, exposing the dentin.
–Tooth whitening chemicals in toothpaste can be harsh on tooth enamel.
–Rinsing with mouthwash that contains alcohol.
–Receding gums due to gum disease.
–Not cleaning plaque off your teeth daily.
–Dental procedures like root canals, tooth extractions, or crowns causing temporary sensitivity.
–Dentin exposure from chipped or cracked teeth.
–Decayed or leaky old fillings allowing bacterial acid to hide in tooth crevices.

To help with tooth sensitivity, you can brush using a soft-bristled toothbrush, avoid acidic foods (like citrus, pickles and tomatoes), wear a night guard for bruxism, and stop using harsh mouthwashes. Find a toothpaste that is fluoridated to strengthen enamel, and brush and floss daily. See your dentist to remove tartar, help you with gum disease, replace old fillings, and cap or extract damaged teeth.

If you are having problems with tooth sensitivity and would like Dr. Pham’s help, please call our Kirkwood Dental team at 408-378-8500 today. Together we can restore your healthy smile!