The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) published a study in 2013 that showed that 1 in 8 individuals have sensitive teeth. In fact, studies estimate that over 40 million adults in the United States have sensitive teeth.
What are Sensitive Teeth?
Individuals with sensitive teeth feel discomfort when they bite into or drink something cold, hot, spicy, sweet, or sour. They may feel sharp but temporary pain.
People with sensitive teeth can avoid food and drinks that cause pain or discomfort. However, before you write off coffee, tea, and ice cream, you should consult with your dentist to ensure that there are no underlying dental concerns. Tooth sensitivity may be a sign of a cavity or an infection.
Normally, your tooth enamel protects the underlying layers in your teeth and the tooth roots are protected by your gums.
Tooth sensitivity can be caused by the wearing down of tooth enamel, a crack in tooth enamel, or gum recession. These conditions may allow microscopic exposure to underlying tissues and nerves in the gums or beneath tooth enamel. Consequently, people may feel pain or discomfort when these areas feel hot or cold. Teeth sensitivity can also be caused by plaque buildup, cavities, and gingivitis when gums are inflamed. In addition, some dental procedures can cause temporary tooth sensitivity, but this usually subsides within a few weeks. After receiving a filling for a cavity, some people feel sensitivity when they bite down. Fortunately, an easy bite adjustment by your dentist can fix this problem. Surprisingly, long-term use of over-the-counter mouthwash can wear away enamel on the teeth, exposing the underlying dentin. Finally, harsh chemicals used in teeth whitening can also cause tooth sensitivity.
What can you do to help reduce tooth sensitivity?
- Use a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth such as Sensodyne. It may take a few weeks before you notice a difference; but keep brushing.
- Use a toothpaste with soft bristles and take care to brush your teeth gently.
- Avoid acidic foods including tomatoes and citrus.
- Avoid teeth grinding. Talk to your dentist about a custom mouth guard if necessary.
- Avoid teeth whitening as these treatments use harsh chemicals that can cause discomfort to people with sensitive teeth.
- Talk to your dentist about in-office and home treatment options to desensitize your teeth.
If you or a loved one is experiencing teeth sensitivity, contact our offices at 305-442-7444 to set up a consultation. Our dental team will provide a thorough evaluation to determine the cause of the sensitivity and which treatment will work best for you.
Dr. Claudio Miro and associates have been treating patients in the greater Miami area for over 30 years. As a team, we believe that the patient is of upmost importance at every level. We take pride in the care we provide to our patients at Miro Dental Centers. We take the time to make sure our patients are fully informed and are given all treatment options. Our goal is to the provide our patients with optimal oral health by using state of the art technology.
With the dental field rapidly advancing, we are always looking for new and innovative treatments to serve our patients. We provide all types of services, including dental cleanings, orthodontics, endodontics, periodontics, oral surgery and cosmetic dentistry.
If you have questions about your dental health or would like to schedule an appointment at our offices in Coral Gables, Kendall, Hialeah, or Hollywood, please contact us today at 305-442-7444.