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Why Teeth Hurt After Cleaning?

Dec 21, 2023Oral health

Why teeth hurt after cleaning?

Tooth sensitivity arises from the exposure of dentin, which is directly beneath the enamel, due to the receding gums. It’s important to note that the roots of teeth lack the protective layer of enamel, leaving them susceptible to sensitivity after a dental cleaning. Tooth sensitivity can be attributed to various factors, and dental cleanings are one of them. During such cleanings, your dental care practitioner may utilize probing techniques on your gums and utilize tools that come into contact with sensitive portions of your teeth, leading to this common issue.


What causes tooth sensitivity?

One of the primary causes behind tooth discomfort after a dental cleaning is sensitivity, which can arise due to various reasons. The enamel, being the outermost layer of our teeth and one of the toughest human body tissues, can become exposed when gums recede from their original position, thereby revealing the tooth’s underlying roots. When the enamel fails to cover a portion of the tooth, it becomes exceedingly sensitive.

Dental sensitivity is triggered by consuming hot or cold food items as well as the pressure exerted during chewing. This sensation signals distress to the tooth root, leading to painful discomfort.

The occurrence of tooth sensitivity can be triggered by a number of factors.

  • Rigorous Brushing: Excessive brushing force can cause dental sensitivity and discomfort, which can do more harm to your teeth.
  • Bad Oral Habits: Neglecting to maintain optimal oral hygiene, which involves daily brushing and flossing, can result in the buildup of plaque on your teeth, thereby precipitating a variety of oral health issues.
  • Oral Procedures: Dental procedures such as fillings, whitening, or cleaning may lead to tooth sensitivity due to the application of external pressure on teeth.
  • Food: Excessive consumption of acidic food or beverage can lead to the decay of tooth enamel and subsequent exposure of tooth roots. Additionally, consumption of hot or cold drinks in abundance can lead to the development of sensitive teeth.


How do I prevent my teeth from hurting after a dental cleaning?

Ensuring regular dental cleaning appointments and observing impeccable oral hygiene at home are the most effective measures to prevent any subsequent toothaches after cleaning.

  • Routine dental cleanings: It is recommended to maintain the standard of care by scheduling a teeth cleaning every 6 months. Regular check-ups will aid in reducing tartar buildup for those who follow the schedule. Failing to attend your appointments can significantly contribute to the accumulation of tartar, which could exacerbate tooth sensitivity after cleaning. In situations where there has been more than a 5-year gap between cleanings, the volume of tartar buildup can be substantial, making removal of it quite challenging.
  • Maintain oral hygiene: Maintaining a twice-daily regimen of brushing and flossing can yield significant reduction in the buildup of tartar. The rationale behind this is that plaque, being softer in nature, is relatively effortless to eliminate, whereas tartar is not. Thus, removing all traces of plaque effectively prevents its transformation into tartar. Reducing the amount of residue left on your teeth after the dental visit will effectively decrease their sensitivity level.

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