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Dentin Hypersensitivity: What You Can Do

Do you ever take a breath of fresh air and wince from the pain of cool air running over your teeth? What about biting into an ice cream cone or sipping a cup of hot coffee? If your teeth are sensitive to heat and cold, you might have dentin hypersensitivity. This is a frustrating condition and it can be very uncomfortable. Read on to find out more about what might be causing it as well as tips on how to make it go away.

Receding Gums

Whether due to age or gum disease, your gums might be receding. This means that more of the porous dentin is exposed, causing sensitivity to hot and cold stimulus. You might also develop some gum recession if you use a medium or hard toothbrush or if you are using too much of an abrasive toothpaste.

See your dentist to evaluate the cause of your gum recession. In some cases, changing your oral hygiene routine can help. Other times, periodontal work is needed; for that you’ll probably be referred to a gum specialist.

Dental Decay

If you are having sensitivity that seems to be focused on one area, it might be caused by dental decay. Particularly if you have decay under a metal filling, the heat or cold might transfer to the area around the nerve, causing pain. See your dentist promptly to find out if you have a cavity in the affected tooth.

Bruxism (Clenching and Grinding)

Are your molars sensitive? If you’re also waking up with headaches or jaw pain, you might be clenching or grinding your teeth in your sleep. This can cause hypersensitivity as you grind away the enamel. You can also create crazing, or tiny cracks, in your molars.

Some ways to reduce bruxism include reducing stress and using a nightguard. A nightguard is an appliance that your dentist can make for you. You wear it overnight and it, rather than your teeth, takes the brunt of your grinding.

Dentin hypersensitivity is an uncomfortable condition, but one that can often be remedied. There are toothpastes made specifically for sensitive teeth that you can ask your dentist about. Give us a call to talk about your options and to schedule an appointment.