My Teeth Hurt after Cleaning

Increased tooth sensitivity following a dental visit is not uncommon, nor does it mean that anything has gone awry with any of the procedures that you have recently undergone at your dentist’s office. Put simply, the tools and treatments that your dentist and their team use in working to improve and maintain your oral health are much more potent than the simple toothbrushes and floss we use in our own homes. As a result, these tools can get into nooks and crannies in our teeth and other parts of our mouth that are typically untouched by our daily brushing and flossing. There is also more force used in the scraping away of calcified plaque and tartar that has formed on our teeth. For these reasons, you may leave your next dental cleaning feeling a bit tender in addition to having brighter, cleaner teeth. Have no fear: this is not outside of the norm. There are things you can do to ease the pain, as well.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

While dental cleanings can cause teeth to feel tender or painful due to the amount of pressure used in scraping off plaque and tartar and your own personal sensitivity to the process, there are a myriad of other reasons that one’s teeth can become sensitive, as well.


Teeth can be sensitive following other dental procedures such as fillings, root canals, or the placement of caps. Tooth pain or sensitivity can also be an indication of problems with your teeth, though, such as broken or cracked teeth or even nerve damage. It is also common for teeth to hurt if and when the hard enamel of the teeth has become worn down due to tooth grinding, excessive consumption of acidic foods or beverages, or as a side-effect of medications for unrelated health issues. Additionally, tooth sensitivity be a result and indicator of poor oral hygiene or brushing that is too hard, or an indication that your gums have begun to recede from your teeth, exposing the extremely sensitive roots that they normally protect.


If you find that your teeth have become sore and sensitive not simply as a result of a recent cleaning or other dental procedure, you should check in with your dentist and report your symptoms. She or he might want you to come in to have your teeth looked at to ensure that you don’t have a broken or cracked tooth that needs repair, for example. Given that teeth are their area of expertise, they will also be able to direct you towards either a remedy to your problem or some way to manage the symptoms.


Treatments that Can Ease the Pain

While seeing your dentist is the best first step in any situation in which your teeth have become painful or sensitive, there are also some good over-the-counter products that can provide temporary relief to tooth pain. Desensitizing toothpaste can help reduce the sensitivity of one’s teeth, especially upon repeated use. Fluoride mouth rinses can also help to remineralize the teeth, which can help quite a bit if the sensitivity you are feeling is related to a decline in enamel.


The best at home remedy, however, is simply adherence to a good oral hygiene routine that includes brushing twice a day and flossing daily. You should also take care to use proper brushing tools and techniques – if you feel unsure as to whether your toothbrush or techniques are as good as they could be, ask your dental hygienist at your next visit – they are trained to provide precisely this kind of patient education!


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