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What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

What is it?
Tooth sensitivity is something that affects a number of people. It is often caused by eating or drinking something hot, cold, sweet or acidic. Under normal conditions, the underlying dentin of the tooth (the layer that immediately surrounds the nerve) is covered by the enamel in the tooth crown, and the gums that surround the tooth. Over time, the enamel covering can get thinner, thus providing less protection. The gums can also recede over time, exposing the underlying root surface dentin.

The dentin contains a large numbers of pores or tubes that run from the outside of the tooth to the nerve in the center. When the dentin is exposed, these tubes can be stimulated by changes in temperature or certain foods.

What causes it?
Exposure of the dentin can occur due to a number of factors. Some of the more common reasons are:
  • Gum recession due to age or improper tooth brushing
  • Acidic beverages (such as soda) that cause enamel erosion and dentin exposure
  • Tooth grinding ? this may actually cause most or all of the teeth to feel sensitive
  • Brushing with a very abrasive toothpaste, brushing incorrectly and/or brushing more than three times a day could result in a loss of enamel
  • Gum disease, which can result in gum recession
  • A chipped or fractured tooth may expose the dentin

In addition, some dental treatments can cause sensitivity. Treatments such as such as teeth whitening, professional dental cleanings, having braces put on or getting a filling placed have been known to cause sensitivity during or after the procedure.

What can I do about it?
The first step in doing something about dental sensitivity is to find out what the cause is – a dental professional can help you with this. If the sensitivity is due to exposed dentin, there are a number of steps you can take, as can your dental professional, to help reduce the sensitivity. These can include:
  • Using a very soft bristle tooth brush
  • Brushing correctly to help prevent abrasion of the enamel and recession of the gums
  • Using a toothpaste specially formulated to help reduce sensitivity
  • Your Bellevue dentist, Dr. Bhide can:
    • Apply a fluoride varnish on the sensitive areas to help strengthen the tooth
    • Prescribe a high fluoride tooth paste to use every day
    • Place a dental restoration to build up the areas that have lost enamel

    In the end, whether you need an in-office procedure or over-the-counter products, the most important step is to see a dental professional so that he or she can determine the cause of the tooth sensitivity and help you find a solution that will work.

List of Articles

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  • Mar 28, 2014

What Is It? Your teeth are held in place by roots that extend into your jawbone. Front teeth usually have one root. Other teeth, such as your premolars and molars, have two or more roots. The tip of each root is called the apex. Nerves and blood vessels enter the tooth through the...
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Understanding Gum Disease file

  • Feb 21, 2014

More than 75 percent of Americans over 35 have some form of gum disease. In its earliest stage, your gums might swell and bleed easily. At its worst, you might lose your teeth. The bottom line? If you want to keep your teeth, you must take care of your gums. The mouth is a busy place, with ...
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What Causes Tooth Sensitivity? imagefile

  • Feb 06, 2014

What is it? Tooth sensitivity is something that affects a number of people. It is often caused by eating or drinking something hot, cold, sweet or acidic. Under normal conditions, the underlying dentin of the tooth (the layer that immediately surrounds the nerve) is covered by the ena...
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Bruxism also known as Teeth Grinding imagefile

  • Jan 31, 2014

What Is It? Bruxism is clenching or grinding your teeth, often without being aware that your are doing it. In the United States, bruxism affects an estimated 30 to 40 million children and adults. Some people grind their teeth only during sleep; this condition is called "nocturnal bruxi...
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Face-paced Eroding Teen's Teeth imagefile

  • Jan 28, 2014

As quick meals in the form of "nutrition" bars and carbonated beverages help keep teens alert and on schedule between school, extracurricular activities and part-time jobs, today's fast-paced lifestyle threatens to leave a generation with permanent damage to oral and overall health. "Premature lo...
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Oral Health and Diabetes imagefile

  • Jan 20, 2014

Diabetes and Oral Health During the past 10 years, much research has been undertaken on the link between diabetes and periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is the sixth leading complication of diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you are3 to 4 times more likely to develop...
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Emergency Dentistry in Bellevue, WA file

  • Jan 18, 2013

EZ Dental Clinic in Bellevue now offers emergency dentistry! Bellevue Dentist, EZ Dental Clinic now offers emergency dentistry even when we're closed. Just give us a call, and you're already in good hands! Call your Bellevue Emergency Dentist, EZ Dental today! 425.746.6090
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EZ Dental Clinic: EZ Dental Clinic Your Smile is Always Out Top Priority. Smile! You’re in Good Hands.: Smile! You’re in Good Hands. Your initial appointment will consist of a consultation explaining your diagnosis and treatment options. Occasionally , treatment can be done the s...
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  • Jun 29, 2012

It can never be better to receive great service at discounted price! 10% off on any dental procedures. Yes, any dental treatment. For more information, please visit our Promotions.
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Welcome to EZ Dental Clinic located in Bellevue, WA serving Kirkland, Bellevue, and Seattle areas for years! If you feel anxious with a dentist, EZ Dental Clinic in Bellevue offers sedation dentistry that eases your tension and keeps you relaxed while we are working on your mouth. I...
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Bellevue dentist office, EZ Dental Clinic provides affordable yet exceptional dental care for your entire family. Specializing in dentures, implants, Invisalign, root canals, and more, your family is in good hands. Contact your Bellevue dentist today! (425) 746-6090