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Tooth Sensitivity and What You Need to Know about It

If you feel an uncomfortable zing or ache when you eat or drink something particularly cold or hot, you may have tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity is common and may affect half of the population. Our Torrance dentist explains.

Most commonly, tooth sensitivity occurs when dentin becomes exposed. The hard enamel on your teeth is designed to protect the dentin beneath, but it can become damaged or worn. As dentin becomes exposed, its tiny channels can transmit sensation to the nerves inside the pulp of the tooth. This triggers discomfort or pain.

Enamel can become worn for many reasons, including gum recession, periodontal disease and a heavy intake of acidic foods and beverages, such as soft drinks, pickles or citrus fruits, or through aggressive brushing techniques. In some cases, GERD, bulimia and other conditions that cause excessive vomiting may contribute to tooth sensitivity.

Good oral hygiene habits are often enough to prevent tooth sensitivity. If you already have sensitive teeth, the right treatment can help reduce your discomfort. Low-abrasion toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush should be used twice a day to gently clean your teeth. Floss should be used to clean between each set of teeth. You may also need to address any health issues or lifestyle habits that are contributing to your sensitive teeth.

Depending on the cause of your sensitivity, we may also recommend fluoride treatments, dental sealants or dental bonding. Contact our expert in teeth whitening in Torrance to learn more or to schedule your consultation.

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