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Causes and Solutions for Tooth Sensitivity

By Ann R. Sielicki, DDS on July 20, 2019

Causes and Solutions for Tooth Sensitivity Tooth sensitivity is an extremely common dental problem. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, at least 40 million Americans experience sensitive teeth at some point. Sometimes the cause is easily identifiable and quickly remedied with some simple lifestyle tweaks. Other times, the culprit is more serious and requires the expertise of a dentist like Dr. Ann Sielicki of Sonoran Dental Design.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

In a healthy tooth, the crown of the tooth (or the part above the gum line) is covered with a protective layer called enamel. A protective layer called cementum covers the tooth root below the gum line. The inner layer of the tooth under the enamel and cementum, called dentin, contains tiny tubules filled with nerve endings. If the dentin loses its protective covering, the nerve endings are exposed and sensitivity or pain can occur.

The following can lead to sensitive teeth:

  • Using toothpastes with abrasive ingredients
  • Drinking lots of soft drinks or highly acidic foods and beverages
  • Brushing the teeth too aggressively
  • Fractured or worn teeth
  • Worn fillings
  • Periodontal (gum) disease
  • Gum recession
  • Chronic teeth grinding

Dental treatment like professional teeth whitening or the placement of crowns or fillings can sometimes lead to temporary sensitivity.

Solutions to Sensitivity

Treating sensitivity can be as simple as switching to a desensitizing toothpaste or using a softer toothbrush and a gentler stroke when brushing. Reducing consumption of soft drinks and acid-containing foods may also reduce sensitivity.

If home remedies do not help, and sensitivity persists, Dr. Sielicki should be consulted. After a comprehensive evaluation of the mouth, she can determine the underlying cause of the sensitivity and suggest the most appropriate solution. Sensitivity may be caused by a cavity or a worn filling, which can be repaired quickly. If the problem is more serious, like an infection or gum disease, Dr. Sielicki can recommend the best way to address it.

Contact Sonoran Dental Design

If you are experiencing uncomfortable sensitivity that affects your day-to-day life, make an appointment with Dr. Sielicki today to get checked out. You can reach us by calling or sending us an email.


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Dr. Sielicki and her staff are professional and I immediately felt comfortable. My teeth look fantastic. I could not be more pleased with the outcome.Emily

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Scottsdale Office

Sonoran Dental
7500 E Pinnacle Peak Rd Scottsdale, AZ 85255 (480) 419-9595

More Info Directions (480) 419-9595

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