Tooth Sensitivity After Cleaning At Dentist
Along with brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing regularly, going to the dentist to get a cleaning and check-up every 6 months is an essential part of a good oral hygiene regimen. The cleaning is usually performed by one of the hygienists at your dentist’s office. These cleanings are important because your hygienist will be able to cleanse and polish your teeth, clean areas more effectively, and reaching places you normally wouldn’t be able to. Normally, cleanings are painless and go smoothly. However, your teeth can become sensitive after a cleaning, depending on various factors, including how deep the cleaning is and the state of your teeth and gums before the cleaning.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
There are a variety of factors that can affect tooth sensitivity. Your teeth are more susceptible to becoming sensitive when the area beneath your enamel, called dentin, is exposed and unprotected. The area is greatly affected the more recession there is in your gums. This recession can be caused by gum disease, aging, overly aggressive brushing, tobacco use, and lack of proper oral hygiene, among other reasons.
Other than gum recession, tooth sensitivity can increase due to aging, improper brushing technique, and bruxism (teeth grinding). You are most likely to experience extra sensitivity when consuming foods or beverages that are overly cold or acidic.
Why Are My Teeth Sensitive During A Cleaning?
Your teeth can be sensitive after a cleaning due to a previous condition such as a cavity, gum recession, enamel breakdown from abrasive brushing, teeth grinding, or another underlying factor mentioned in the previous section. If you receive a deep cleaning, tooth sensitivity can occur due to the areas being cleaned heavily to remove plaque and tartar. Sensitivity from deep cleanings should not last more than a week.
These conditions create more sensitivity when a cleaning occurs because they break down and get rid of plaque that has accumulated in your mouth with more effectiveness than you are probably used to doing yourself. It is hitting the hard-to-reach spots that tend to be more sensitive as they have not been cared for as much as other areas within your mouth.
If the tooth sensitivity is severe enough to hinder your daily quality of life, contact your dentist and they will be able to diagnose the root of your issue and provide a solution to it.
How Can I Treat Tooth Sensitivity?
Since tooth sensitivity stems from a diverse amount of causes, you will need to consult your dentist to help with your specific situation. Gum disease and cavities are needed to be solved in an office with a tooth restoration procedure or deep cleaning of the gums. If exposed gums are the culprit of your issue, you have different options depending on the severity of your exposure and sensitivity. These options include:
- Limiting acidic foods (coffee, orange juice, etc.) and including enamel-strengthening foods (eggs, tea, diary, etc. in your diet)
- Using anti-sensitivity toothpaste
- Rinsing with fluoride daily to strengthen your teeth’s surface
- Getting fluoride treatments to strengthen your enamel and exposed dentin.
- Gum grafting – covers receding gum lines to protect the exposed enamel.
- If the affected area is bad enough, a root canal may be required.
What Can I Do To Avoid Sensitivity In The First Place?
The best way to prevent sensitivity from occurring after a cleaning is to see how you can make your oral hygiene routine more effective. Some examples of this are flossing more, using a soft-bristled toothbrush over a medium bristle, or using a mouth rinse. It is possible through aging or unlucky genes that you simply develop more sensitive teeth.
Your dentist wants to work with you to ensure you can have a healthy, happy smile, so be sure to consult with them so they can help you decide the best course of action to help deal with your sensitivity issues. Most sensitivity issues should not last long term. If your teeth’ sensitivity and soreness are directly affecting your everyday quality of life, we recommend scheduling an emergency appointment to get on track to resolve the issue as soon as possible.