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Sensitive Teeth? 3 Ways You May Be Causing It And What To Do About It

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Tooth sensitivity can be a pain in more ways than one. You may find yourself avoiding some of your favorite things, like a hot cup of coffee, a cold scoop of ice cream, or a crisp apple, because the temperature or texture of these treats causes a flash of pain in your teeth. If your teeth are very sensitive, you may have problems brushing them, or you could even feel pain when you're not doing anything with your mouth. Find out what could be causing your tooth pain and what you can do to stop it.

Tooth Whitening

Have you been trying to make your smile a little brighter? Tooth whitening gels and toothpastes can sometimes cause your teeth to be more sensitive. This happens because in order for the whitening products to remove stains, they also have to penetrate a protective protein layer on your teeth.

You can help yourself by applying a desensitizing gel to your teeth before a whitening treatment. You can get these gels from your dentist, or in a pinch you can substitute toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Also, make sure that you don't use more bleaching product than directed or leave the whitening gels on your teeth longer than directed. Rinsing your mouth out with a pH balancing mouthwash after a whitening treatment can also help you avoid sensitivity.

Nighttime Grinding

You may not even know that you're doing this, but grinding your teeth while you sleep can cause your teeth to be much more sensitive during your waking hours. If you're waking up with a sore jaw, a headache, or neck pain in the mornings, in addition to tooth sensitivity, it's a good sign that you may be grinding at night.

There isn't much that you can do on your own to stop yourself from grinding your teeth in your sleep — after all, you're not doing it on purpose. But your dentist can help by fitting you for a mouthguard that you will put in at night before you go to sleep. It will stop your teeth from connecting when you try to grind, which will not only reduce your sensitivity but also protect your teeth from wear and tear.

Brushing too Hard

Your zeal for having clean, healthy teeth may actually be causing your tooth sensitivity. Putting too much muscle behind your toothbrush can result in increased tooth sensitivity. You can tell if you've been pushing your brush a bit too hard if all of the bristles are sticking out at the sides.

You can reduce your sensitivity by brushing more gently. Generally speaking, a good way to brush your teeth is by gently moving the toothbrush in a circular or elliptical motion, cleaning them a few at a time. However, there are a variety of possible brushing techniques, and you should ask your dentist if there's a brushing technique that's especially beneficial for your mouth.

Tooth sensitivity can also be caused by gum disease, so it's a good idea to have a dentist take a look if you're experiencing pain and can't pinpoint a specific cause. A dentist at a practice like Londonderry Dental Centre II should be able to help you determine the cause of your sensitivity, or any other dental issue, and devise a plan to treat it.