Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Causes of Tooth SensitivityDentin hypersensitivity, more commonly known as tooth sensitivity, affects nearly half the population. Tooth sensitivity occurs due to exposure in the dentin or root areas of an individual's teeth. Exposure usually results from receding gums or periodontal disease, affecting four-fifths of the population by age sixty-five. Tooth sensitivity, which is manifested by throbbing, materializes when an individual's teeth come into contact with hot, cold, sweet, or extremely acidic beverages or food products.

Many individuals accidentally create an increased risk for tooth sensitivity due to overzealous brushing or by indulging in acidic foods like citrus, pickles, and soda. The acid from these substances dissolves the tooth's surface leading to tooth erosion and dentin exposure. Bulimia and gastroesophageal reflux disease can also cause tooth sensitivity.

Exposed dentin can be exceedingly painful. Dentin possesses a myriad of tiny tunnels visible only beneath a microscope. These small channels, which contain fluid, run from the surface of the teeth, through the dentin, and directly into the pulp. The pulp, which acts as the nerve center of the tooth, becomes painfully irritated when the fluid in the dentin channels is moved or jostled.

Your Northridge dentist recommends lessening tooth sensitivity by keeping teeth and gums healthy through good oral hygiene. Brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly for check-ups help prevent receding gums and periodontal disease. Avoiding acidic foods can also keep tooth sensitivity at bay. It is vital to alert your dentist if you suspect you may be suffering from tooth sensitivity. Your dentist may recommend a low abrasion toothpaste, which will desensitize teeth while offering protection against dental decay.

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Michel H. Elyson, DDS

Ramin Assili, DDS

9535 Reseda Blvd., Suite 203
Northridge CA 91324

Telephone: (818) 349-6373
Fax: 818.349.7539