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Have your pearly whites been feeling extra sensitive lately? Have you been feeling a quick, temporary pain when eating or drinking? Even brushing and flossing your teeth can cause a short burst of pain if you have tooth sensitivity.

Why does this happen?

If your teeth have cracks or chips, or if you have bleached your teeth too harshly, your teeth may complain by experiencing pain. If you have chronic sensitive tooth pain, you may have exposed dentin or tooth roots.

Dentin is the layer of the tooth that lies beneath the enamel. It is slightly darker than your natural tooth enamel, and can become exposed over time as your enamel gets wears down and becomes thinner, both by aging and by harsh brushing. One of the first lines of defense is to use a soft bristled toothbrush, and by brushing gently in circular motions, reducing the wear and tear on the enamel–instead of sawing back and forth. Brush gently near the gum line as well. And while brushing your teeth twice a day is optimum, any more than that and you can wear your tooth enamel down.

If you have been eating or drinking acidic foods such as citrus or tea with lemon, wait awhile before brushing because brushing your teeth with acid in the mouth will also wear away the enamel quicker.

To help minimize tooth sensitivity, you might try using a desensitizing toothpaste and a mouthwash that has protective fluoride in it, along with flossing gently. You may also visit our dental office to see what we can do to help if you have severe tooth sensitivity. We can coat exposed root surfaces with bonding resin, and if you have lost gum tissue on a tooth root, we can graft a tiny piece from somewhere else in your mouth and attach it to the exposed area to protect the root.

As always, Dr. Stella Carollo is here to help you maintain a brighter, healthier smile! Please contact our Endodontic Associates of Bayside dental team at 718-224-4000 for any questions, or to schedule an appointment.