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Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth may be a minor issue or a red flag to a big problem. Teeth that are suddenly sensitive may be a cavity, broken filling or an infection. A classic sign of a cavity is sensitivity to sweets. A broken filling can hurt while chewing or drinking very hot and cold things. Tooth infections usually hurt spontaneously.

When teeth are sensitive all over your mouth you may have cracked teeth or a loss of enamel from teeth grinding. Many people are unaware of teeth grinding as it usually happens while sleeping.  Stress during the day makes jaw muscles hyperactive at night. Muscles contract and apply pressure to teeth. Enamel wears away and micro fractures in teeth are created. Teeth may ache all over your mouth after you sleep or be sensitive to hot and cold drinks.

Tooth enamel doesn’t grow back, and cracks only deepen as you grind teeth. A night guard protects teeth from the forces of clenching and reduces muscle activity by balancing the bite. Onlays or tooth crowns may be necessary to replace enamel and hold cracked teeth together. If a crack reaches the nerve, at the middle of the tooth, a root canal or tooth extraction may be needed.

Receding gums and root erosion created by gum disease causes sensitive teeth too. Exposed tooth roots and an acidic diet removes minerals from the root surface. You may feel painful twinges in the teeth while eating, drinking, or brushing. The problem comes and goes, depending on your diet. You should avoid acidic and sugary foods. You can stop sensitive teeth caused by root exposure with desensitizing toothpaste. The best desensitizing toothpastes have sodium fluoride. Toothpastes with stannous fluoride can stain teeth. If sensitivity persists the best solution is tooth bonding to cover the area.

Getting to the bottom of why your teeth hurt can prevent big problems.  When you experience even the slightest sensitivity call us right away and we’ll help you get back to eating and drinking worry free.


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Michael Kriston, DDS

903 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Suite 120 Danville, CA 94526

Phone: (925) 838-2900 | Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM