Tooth sensitivity can happen suddenly or it may set in slowly. Either way, it can be a very uncomfortable sensation. What causes sensitive teeth? Many things can lead to increased sensitivity. The good news is, there are some simple things you can do that may help provide relief. Let’s talk about what may be causing your teeth to be extra sensitive so you can find a solution.
Exposure to Hot or Cold Temperatures or Sweets
Extreme temperature changes and very sweet foods or drinks can trigger sudden sensitivity or discomfort in your teeth. If you notice that your teeth are feeling more sensitive than normal, it’s a good idea to call your dentist for an appointment to find out if the increased sensitivity is due to an underlying problem such as a cavity or gum recession, which can further expose the inner layers of your teeth to things that trigger the sensation of sensitivity.
Clenching Jaw or Grinding Teeth
The answer to what causes sensitive teeth may have to do with stress. Did you know that clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth can put the nerves in your teeth on high alert, resulting in increased sensitivity? If you’re experiencing sensitivity in your teeth, try pausing frequently throughout the day to take some deep breaths, stretch, walk around or practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques.
Sinus Pressure or Infection
Whether from an illness, allergies or a change in the weather, sinus pressure can cause extra sensitivity in your teeth. If your whole mouth is feeling extra sensitive, a hot or cold compress applied to your sinuses or a decongestant may help provide some temporary relief.
Many whitening products contain bleaching ingredients that can damage the enamel or outer layer of teeth. If you’ve been using whitening products, talk to your dentist about which ones are the safest options and whether it may be helpful to switch to a toothpaste for sensitive teeth instead.
When to Call a Dentist
Signs of a serious problem developing include sharp or aching pain that lingers, a toothache that lasts more than 48 hours, fever and severe or sudden headache with pain in your teeth or jaw. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see your dentist immediately.
If you’re experiencing any increased sensitivity, whether there’s been a sudden onset of symptoms or something more gradual, it’s important to call your dentist as soon as possible to find out why before it progresses. Often, the question of what causes sensitive teeth is a simple one to answer for your dentist, and once you identify the source, your dentist can help you to determine what is the best and quickest method of relief.
Call our Austin Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.