July 8, 2023

Teeth Sensitivity After Cleaning - Insights from Dentistry of Newburyport

At Dentistry of Newburyport, we often encounter patients who report experiencing teeth sensitivity after a dental cleaning. This is a common occurrence, and we're here to shed light on why it happens and how you can alleviate the discomfort.

Why Do Teeth Hurt After Cleaning?

Teeth sensitivity after a dental cleaning can be attributed to several factors. During a cleaning, your dentist or hygienist applies more pressure to the teeth than usual and uses tools that can irritate the gums. This is out of the ordinary compared to daily brushing and flossing, which can lead to some discomfort or pain after the procedure.

Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

One of the biggest reasons why individuals experience discomfort after a dental cleaning is general tooth sensitivity. The primary cause of tooth sensitivity is when the gums have receded, exposing the underlying root of the tooth. This root area is not covered by hard enamel and is therefore incredibly sensitive to heat, cold, and pressure.

Additional Factors Contributing to Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can be a result of various factors, not just the cleaning process. Here are some other common causes:

  • Use of Whitening Products: Many dental whitening products contain chemicals that can cause sensitivity. These chemicals can penetrate the tooth enamel, reaching the dentin layer where the tooth's nerves are located, leading to discomfort.
  • Changes in Temperature: Sudden temperature changes, especially extreme cold, can cause temporary sensitivity in teeth. This is because the dentin, the layer beneath your tooth's enamel, contains tiny tubes that, when exposed to extreme temperatures, can stimulate the nerves inside your tooth, causing sharp bursts of pain.
  • Tooth Decay: Cavities, or tooth decay, can cause sensitivity. When a tooth decays, it can lead to small holes in the tooth's surface, exposing the nerves and causing discomfort.
  • Leaky Fillings: Over time, dental fillings can start to break down or become loose, creating small gaps between the filling and the tooth. These gaps can trap food and bacteria, leading to tooth decay and sensitivity.
  • Gum Recession: Gum recession, often a result of periodontal disease or aggressive brushing, can expose the tooth roots. Unlike the crowns of your teeth, the roots do not have a protective enamel layer, making them more susceptible to sensitivity.
  • Brushing Too Hard: Brushing your teeth too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can wear down tooth enamel and cause gum recession, both of which can lead to sensitivity. It's recommended to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush your teeth to maintain oral health without causing unnecessary damage.
  • Poor Oral Hygiene: Neglecting proper oral care can lead to a buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth and along the gumline. This can cause gum disease and tooth decay, both of which can result in tooth sensitivity. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups are essential to maintain good oral health and prevent sensitivity.

Managing Tooth Sensitivity After Cleaning

If you suffer from regular tooth sensitivity, it's important to know that this is a common experience and there are ways to treat this discomfort. Taking good care of your gums and teeth through daily brushing and flossing is the ultimate way to prevent tooth sensitivity. This may include using a soft toothbrush and not brushing too hard.

If your sensitivity is bothering you, let your dentist know. They will assess the level of the sensitivity and will suggest some strategies to help eliminate the discomfort. Additionally, they may take a different approach to cleanings to make them less uncomfortable for you.

Navigating Tooth Sensitivity Together

At Dentistry of Newburyport, we understand that teeth sensitivity after cleaning can be uncomfortable. However, with the right care and management, it can be effectively dealt with. If you're experiencing sensitivity after your dental cleaning, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're here to ensure your dental health is in the best possible condition.

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