Don't Let a Missing Tooth Hold You Back in Life

Why Does Grinding Your Teeth Make Them Sensitive And How Do You Treat It?

by Wyatt Morgan

When you grind your teeth frequently, you'll most likely develop tooth sensitivity. Grinding and clenching your teeth, whether during the day or at night, is a dental condition called bruxism. Bruxism wears away the enamel on your teeth, causing them to become more sensitive. Thankfully, there are ways that you can reduce the sensitivity along with the damage caused by grinding your teeth. To learn why grinding your teeth causes them to become sensitive and how you can treat it, read on.

Why Does Grinding Your Teeth Make Them Sensitive?

When you grind your teeth, you slowly wear away the enamel layer on the surface, exposing the dentin layer underneath. The only part of your tooth that has nerves is the pulp at the center of your tooth. The pulp is connected to the dentin in your tooth by tiny channels called dentin tubules.

The dentin tubules are exposed to the air when the enamel on the surface of your tooth is worn away, and they're very sensitive to temperature since they're connected to the pulp of your tooth where the nerves are. Whenever you eat hot or cold food or breathe cold air in through your mouth, you'll feel pain because the dentin tubules are exposed.

How Can You Treat Sensitivity Caused by Grinding Your Teeth?

One way you can reduce sensitivity is to start using toothpaste that's meant for people with sensitive teeth. These toothpastes contain tiny minerals like potassium nitrate that block the dentin tubules in your teeth, stopping them from being so sensitive to temperature extremes.

It's also important to treat bruxism at the same time. While tooth sensitivity is annoying and painful, it can lead to problems that are much worse. When the enamel layer on your tooth is worn away and the dentin is exposed, your tooth is more susceptible to serious decay. Bacteria on the tooth have an easier time reaching the pulp of your tooth and infecting it, and a tooth with infected pulp typically needs to be treated with a root canal.

The best way to prevent bruxism from damaging your teeth is to schedule an appointment with a dentist and have a custom mouth guard created. Wearing a custom mouth guard will stop your teeth from coming into contact with each other when you bite down, protecting them from being damaged by bruxism.

By switching to toothpaste for sensitive teeth and wearing a mouth guard to stop further damage, you can reduce the sensitivity caused by grinding your teeth. If you grind your teeth and they're becoming sensitive, schedule an appointment with a dentist and ask about having a custom mouth guard created for you to wear. You'll help stop the sensitivity along with the more serious oral health consequences of grinding your teeth.

For more info, contact a local dentist