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Understanding Tooth Sensitivity

The second you see that ice cream cone, it’s as if you can already feel it hurting your teeth. That sudden, sharp pain that you feel when you something cold or hot touches your teeth is a certain indicator of tooth sensitivity. You might feel like this is perfectly normal and you simply have to deal with it. The truth is that it can only get worse without treatment.

There are a few ways to alleviate the pain and prevent further damage to your teeth, and it’s best to take care of it as soon as possible.


The first step to treating your sensitive teeth is by determining the root cause of your pain. Sensitivity is the result of damage to the tooth enamel and cementum, which are the protective outer layers of your tooth. The pain is most likely caused by the wearing-down of these protective layers. This could be the result of:

  • Brushing too hard
    If you brush your teeth with excessive pressure, you could be removing more than just plaque and cavity-causing bacteria. While being thorough in your brushing is important, you should also make sure that you are not applying too much pressure.
  • Gum recession
    As you grow older, your gums may start to pull away from your teeth. Receding gums start to uncover portions of teeth that are not protected by enamel, which is why they may be much more sensitive than other parts of your teeth.
  • Gum disease
    Gum disease is caused by plaque and tarter buildup setting in. This can damage the bones of your teeth, and result in painful tooth sensitivity.
  • Decay, Worn Out Fillings, or Broken Teeth
    Whether your teeth were damaged overtime or happened suddenly, any of these issues can affect the root of your tooth. Tooth decay, damaged fillings, or a cracked tooth can lead to sensitivity pain.
  • Consuming Highly Acidic Food & Drinks
    Between sugary beverages, sticky snacks, and carbonated sodas, what you indulge in today can damage your teeth in the long run.

Now that you know what the underlying cause of your tooth sensitivity is, you can take the appropriate steps to treat it. Talk to a dentist about treatment options. Depending on the severity of your sensitivity, you could treat the pain with:

  • Sensitivity toothpaste that you can apply at home and use regularly as you brush your teeth.
  • Fluoride gel, which can be applied professionally during a dental visit.
  • Dental fillings, if there are exposed roots caused by decay.
  • Sealants that can protect your teeth from further damage.

While the pain caused by tooth sensitivity can discourage you from visiting the dentist, the team at New Generation Dentistry does not want you to live in pain. It is important that you take care of the problem as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Your dentists in Mission Viejo are available for appointments to discuss options for treating sensitive teeth.

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