One of the more common complaints that dentists hear from their patients is about the pain caused by the sensitivity of their teeth. There are any number of reasons why teeth may become so susceptible to painful sensitivity.

Dentin is the soft layer of tissue that contains the root and nerve endings and lies just beneath the tooth’s enamel. If the gums begin to recede from the teeth, the dentin is exposed to everything we eat or drink. When a hot, cold or extremely sweet substance hits the nerve of a tooth it reacts and causes us pain. Receding gums is a leading cause of sensitive teeth.

A tooth’s enamel is its protective covering. Any time the enamel is compromised the dentin is open to all kinds of contamination. Even everyday brushing can eventually break down tooth enamel. That is why dentists and hygienists recommend brushing gently with a soft bristle brush.

The thinnest layer of a tooth’s enamel runs along the gum line, making it easier for cavities to develop there. “Oil pulling” is a very old method believed to counteract tooth decay and gum disease. The procedure consists of swishing an oily substance over the teeth for approximately 10-20 minutes. Coconut oil is the most popular choice these days.

If a broken tooth is left untreated the pulp will be open to infectious bacteria, which can cause swelling and sensitivity. Don’t put off seeing your dentist if you should chip a tooth.

Bad habits can hurt tooth enamel. Children and adults alike are susceptible to bruxism, which is the tendency to grind your teeth. Adults who are under a lot of stress or suffer from a sleep disorder may start to grind their teeth and not realize it. A spouse or roommate may be the one to notice. Children are more likely to develop the problem due to crooked teeth or a misaligned bite. Watch for telltale signs like a sore jaw or a persistent headache.

Spokane Valley Dentistry is happy to schedule an appointment for your convenience. Call the office @ 509-926-6261.