Numerous studies have shown that oral health affects overall health. People cannot hope to achieve total wellness if they don’t take care of their teeth. However, good oral health does not depend solely on oral hygiene habits, as regular visits to the dentist are necessary. A dentist Knoxville patients recommend—such as Dr. Kim C. Norman, DDS—are always ready to serve their patients’ dental needs.

One of the more common oral health concerns is tooth sensitivity. It affects at least 40 million adults in the United States at some point in their lives. The problem is caused by nerve irritation when the hard enamel is worn down. Tooth sensitivity is also exacerbated when the gums have receded, which exposes tiny tubes in the dentin that contain the inner pulp. This results in pain when hot or cold foods and beverages make contact with the teeth. Moreover, tooth sensitivity can make eating and drinking extremely uncomfortable ordeals. Even breathing in cold air on a chilly day can be rather painful.

Another factor that contributes to tooth sensitivity is an individual’s brushing habits. You may be brushing too hard or using a tooth brush with hard bristles which can harm the enamel on your teeth as well as your gums. To avoid this, one should use a brush with soft bristles and use gentle strokes when brushing.

Another contributing factor is the diet—acidic foods such as tomato sauce, lemon juice, grapefruit, pickles, and the like can put your teeth at risk. They can cause erosion of the enamel which exacerbates tooth sensitivity. Most dentists advise their patients to maintain proper eating, drinking, and brushing habits to avoid this problem.

Other factors that aggravate tooth sensitivity include grinding the teeth (which damages the tooth enamel), and using the wrong kind of whitening toothpaste (which may contain chemicals that cause tooth sensitivity). Additionally, if you gargle with mouthwash excessively, it can expose your teeth to sensitivity problems. Moreover, gum disease and receding gums due to old age can also contribute to sensitivity.

The presence of too much plaque, though it can be avoided by regular flossing, can also weaken the hard enamel which protects the teeth. Fortunately, there is hope, as tooth sensitivity is actually treatable. Here at Dr. Kim C. Norman, DDS, a dentist patients rely on, we can easily remedy tooth sensitivity with the right procedures and treatments.