One of the biggest dilemmas with diagnosing tooth sensitivity is that contributing factors tend to vary dramatically with each case. But sensitive teeth aren’t always a result of gum recession or even an underlying cavity. In fact, they can be caused by most common elements that thousands of Nevadans take for granted.


According to a 2013 survey published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, 1 out of every 8 Americans suffer from varying degrees of sensitivity in their teeth and gums. And while increased tooth sensitivity can sometimes be indicative of severe cases of gum disease, some of the causes just may surprise you. And if left unaddressed, the resulting discomfort can practically seem unbearable.


1.   Food And Beverages


Sensitivity to food and beverages are fairly common in adults, and you may find even slightly hot or cold beverages to trigger a flare.  But it’s not just temperature that can cause tooth discomfort. Acidic foods and beverages are a common culprit, as well as sugary foods and even ice water. You can assist sensitive teeth by minimizing exposure to extremely hot or cold foods and eating plenty of low acidity foods, such as yogurt and bananas.


2.   Excessive Tooth Grinding


Technically referred to as bruxism, excessive teeth grinding doesn’t just increase sensitivity. It can actually eat away at your tooth enamel, exposing the underlying root and cause irreparable damage. We like to recommend patients with even mild cases of bruxism to use disposable mouth guards prior to seeing us for any surgical procedures. If that still doesn’t help after several weeks, feel free to contact us for a no obligation consultation.


3.   Tooth Cleaning Products


Aggressive tooth brushing can also wear down the enamel of your teeth, particularly if you’re used to toothbrushes with harder bristles. In order to combat this surprisingly common tendency in many of our patients, we always like to recommend using a toothpaste designed specifically for sensitive teeth (and there’s numerous brands on the market) as well as toothbrushes with softer bristles. An alcohol free mouthwash can also help minimize irritation and abrasions to your gum line.



4.   Tooth Whitening Toothpaste


Did you know that many of the more popular toothpastes on the market actually contain ingredients which can damage your teeth? In fact, many of the cheaper brands contain ingredients that penetrate through your tooth enamel, leaving your roots vulnerable to decay. We recommend switching brands that contain only all natural ingredients for a few months. If that still doesn’t help, we’re happy to discuss additional tooth whitening options, including non invasive procedures that can make a permanent impact on the quality of your smile.


5.   Periodontitis


Periodontitis, or severe periodontal disease, may actually be more common than you think. In fact, it’s been estimated that it can affect over 47 percent of Americans in their lives in one form or another.  And if left untreated, it can lead to gum recession, severe tooth decay and tooth loss. If you notice a higher degree of sensitivity in your gums as opposed to your teeth, we strongly encourage you to come in for a periodontal examination now before it’s too late.


Still concerned about your sensitive teeth? We’re always happy to help. Visit us today at Balle and Associates and see how a new smile can help make the new you!