Exposed Dentin:

Under the hard shiny layer of enamel is a layer of dentin. Sometimes this dentin can experience sensitivity due to overly aggressive brushing which can cause the gums to recede and expose the dentin.

Whitening treatments:

Simple whitening toothpaste or whitening treatments can cause sensitivity due to the opening of the tubules in your enamel. This can be calmed down by using sensitive toothpaste, or having an extra fluoride treatment at your dentist’s office. You can also skip a few days between whitening to allow those tubules to close up.

Periodontal (Gum) Disease:

Periodontal disease can destroy bone and gum tissue. Contributing factors to periodontal disease can be:

• Smoking
• Diabetes
• Crooked teeth
• Defective fillings
• Pregnancies
• Some oral contraceptives

Teeth grinding/clenching:

Most people do not realize they are grinding their teeth until they start having pain or sensitivity. The best option for this is to wear a mouth guard at night.

Sources: Grin-an oral health publication by Delta Dental.
Kari Williams, RDH # 3061
Andrea Bowen, RDH #1841