If you wince with pain after sipping a hot cup of coffee or chewing a piece of ice, chances are that you suffer from “dentin hypersensitivity” the technical term for sensitive teeth.
Hot and cold temperature changes cause your teeth to expand and contract. Over time, your teeth can develop microscopic cracks that allow these sensations to seep through to the nerves. Exposed areas of the tooth can cause pain and even affect or change your eating, drinking and breathing habits.
At least 45 million adults in the United States suffer at some time from sensitive teeth.
This condition results when the underlying layer of your teeth (the dentin) becomes exposed. This can happen on the chewing surface of the tooth as well as at the gum line. In some cases, sensitive teeth are the result of gum disease, years of unconsciously clenching or grinding your teeth or improper or too vigorous brushing (if the bristles of your toothbrush are pointing in multiple directions, you’re brushing too hard).
Sometimes, abrasive toothpastes are the culprit. Ingredients found in some whitening toothpastes and tartar-control toothpastes may increase sensitivity.
Everyone is different. Contact your dentist when you notice any change in your teeth’s sensitivity to temperature. We can help you discover what is causing your discomfort and recommend options that are right for you.