(404) 262-7733

Call Us Today

4405 Northside Pkwy NW Ste 110

Atlanta GA 30327

(404) 262-7733

Call Us Today

4405 Northside Pkwy NW Ste 110

Atlanta GA 30327

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive After Cleaning?

Regular dental cleanings are vital for long-term oral health, and they help you feel good, clearing out months of built-up plaque. However, it’s common to experience some sensitivity after a cleaning. Understanding the reasons behind tooth sensitivity post cleaning and why your teeth might be sensitive at other times can help you alleviate discomfort and maintain oral health between dentist visits. Let’s discuss what causes tooth sensitivity after a cleaning and when you need to be worried.

What A Dental Cleaning Involves

A dental cleaning is a preventive procedure that involves removing plaque and tartar from the teeth and gum line. It usually includes scraping off the hardened plaque and tartar and polishing to remove surface stains. During the cleaning, the hygienist may also floss between the teeth to ensure all debris is removed. Dental cleanings help maintain good oral health and prevent gum disease.

When you visit the dental office for a cleaning, the hygienist will examine your teeth and gums to assess their health. They’ll then clean your teeth using specialized tools and equipment. Regular dental cleanings are vital for maintaining healthy teeth and gums and preventing dental issues.

To maintain good oral hygiene, it is essential to schedule regular dental cleanings. These cleanings help prevent plaque buildup, tartar formation, and gum disease. Regular cleanings ultimately reduce the risk of tooth sensitivity, as counterintuitive as that may seem if you’re someone who struggles with sensitivity post-cleaning.


Why your teeth are sensitive after a cleaning

After a dental cleaning, you may experience increased sensitivity in your teeth. This heightened sensitivity can be caused by several factors, including:

  • The removal of plaque and tartar. This exposes the underlying dentin layer. The dentin contains microscopic channels that lead to the tooth’s nerve center, making it more susceptible to external stimuli.
  • The polishing process. Tooth polishing can temporarily wear down tooth enamel.This thinning of the enamel can make the teeth more sensitive to hot or cold temperatures and acidic foods or beverages.

Both of these factors can lead to temporary sensitivity in the teeth and gums, but it’s important to remember it’s just that — temporary.


Other Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Aside from dental cleanings, there are other common causes of tooth sensitivity that individuals may experience. One primary reason for sensitive teeth after cleaning is gum recession, which exposes the tooth roots and leads to increased sensitivity to hot, cold, and acidic foods. Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can also wear down enamel and cause sensitivity. If you have the tendency to be an aggressive brusher, ask your dentist about a soft-bristed toothbrush they would recommend.

Tooth sensitivity can also be a sign of underlying dental issues such as gum disease, cavities, or enamel erosion. Improper dental care practices, such as not brushing and flossing regularly, can contribute to sensitivity. Teeth whitening treatments and frequent exposure to acidic foods and beverages can further exacerbate sensitivity in some people. Your dentist will be able to provide guidance on what may be worsening your tooth sensitivity.

If you frequently experience sensitivity in your teeth, it is essential to consult your dentist to determine the root cause of the issue. Addressing underlying dental problems and adopting proper oral hygiene habits can help improve your oral health and prevent future issues.


How to Relieve Pain or Sensitivity After a Dental Cleaning

If you are experiencing pain or sensitivity after a dental cleaning, there are several ways to help alleviate discomfort.

Here are some of the primary methods we recommend to relieve tooth sensitivity after a dental cleaning(and in the long-term):

  • Use a desensitizing toothpaste like Sensodyne to help block the transmission of sensations from the tooth surface to the nerve. This can provide relief from sensitivity to hot, cold, and acidic stimuli.
  • Rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash supplied by your dentist to trengthen enamel and reduce sensitivity.
  • Avoid very hot or very cold foods and drinks to prevent further irritation to sensitive teeth. Maintain good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing regularly, to help protect enamel and reduce sensitivity.


Your dentist can recommend additional measures to help relieve your pain or sensitivity after a cleaning.


Frequently Asked Questions

When should I see a dentist about tooth senstitivy after cleaning?

If the sensitivity persists or worsens to the point it is interfering with your quality of life, it is crucial to schedule an appointment with your dentist. While some people just have uniquely sensitive teeth, the only way to know if there’s another issue causing the sensitivity is to check in with your oral care provider.

Can I do anything before a cleaning to prevent tooth sensitivity?

There’s not a lot you can do if you simply have sensitive teeth. However, the measures you would take to alleviate tooth sensitivity after an appointment may help beforehand. Try to avoid consuming extremely hot or cold foods and drinks, and use a desensitizing toothpaste, preferably all of the time.

How often should I expect to get a dental cleaning?

Dental cleanings are usually done every six months. Fluoride treatments are usually performed every six to twelve months, depending on your oral health needs.


Enjoy a Brighter Smile with a Dental Cleaning at Atlanta Smiles

Dental cleanings are an essential part of maintaining oral health. While some people may experience sensitivity after a cleaning, it can be prevented or mitigated with certain measures. Dental cleanings aren’t the only cause of tooth sensitivity, however, so if tooth sensitivity persists after a cleaning, you may need to see a dentist to make sure nothing else is going on.

At Atlanta Smiles, your oral health is our top priority. Whether you have extremely sensitive teeth or a deeper issue, we’ll address it with precision and tailored care. Contact us at Atlanta Smiles today to schedule your first appointment.


About Atlanta Smiles

Welcome To Our Atlanta Dentist Office

Dr. Dina Giesler and her team at Atlanta Smiles view comprehensive dentistry as a life-long commitment to your health, appearance and self-image. One element of our comprehensive care is cosmetic dentistry. We are passionate about enhancing your beautiful smile, and are highly skilled in every space of cosmetics, including veneers, porcelain crowns, teeth whitening, invisible orthodontic aligners, braces and tooth-colored fillings.