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Why So Sensitive?

It can come out of nowhere - that sharp, shooting pain in your teeth and gums that is triggered by cold and sometimes even hot foods. It’s sensitive teeth, and believe it or not, it can strike anyone at any time. But what causes sensitive teeth, and what can you do to prevent your teeth from hurting and keeping you from indulging in the hot and cold foods you enjoy?

What Does Tooth Sensitivity Mean?

With an estimated 50 percent of people experiencing some sort of tooth sensitivity, it's surprising we aren't more educated about the condition. Sensitive teeth occur when you experience sharp pain in your teeth and gums after eating cold foods. Sometimes you may even experience sensitivity from hot foods, acidic foods and even cold air!

What Causes Teeth to Be Sensitive?

One of the main causes of tooth sensitivity is root exposure from gum recession. Gum recession happens when you have gingivitis or periodontal disease and your gums begin to expose the lower roots of the teeth. There is no enamel on this portion of our teeth - just a coating called cementum - making pain and sensitivity occur.

But gum disease isn’t the only reason our teeth can be sensitive; the condition can also be caused by acidic foods and even hormonal changes. Some whitening treatments may cause temporary sensitivity until the tooth enamel re-hardens.

What Can You Do About Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity can be prevented and even stopped by maintaining excellent oral hygiene, including regular dental cleanings, brushing and flossing. You should also limit your consumption of acidic or cold foods and consider choosing a sensitive-teeth toothpaste.

If your teeth are still bothering you, please contact Dr. Simpson’s office at 910-239-7184.

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