If you’re living with sensitive teeth, you probably know the things that can trigger pain. For some, it’s a cold drink or a sweet treat. For others, hot beverages might cause a temporary sharp pain in certain teeth. Still others experience pain when brushing or flossing. In fact, the term, “sensitive teeth” can seem like an understatement for what can be an extremely uncomfortable condition for many. If you’re struggling, here’s what you should know about sensitive teeth:
Causes of Sensitivity
Sensitive teeth are most often caused by worn tooth enamel or exposed roots. But those aren’t the only things that may cause sensitivity. Sensitive teeth can also be caused by
- cracked or chipped teeth
- a recently filled cavity
- a whitening procedure
- gum disease
- gum recession
Sensitive teeth can also be aggravated by certain acidic foods and drinks, hot or cold drinks, and even cool air moving over your teeth during a dental procedure. But whatever is causing your sensitive teeth, the most important thing on your mind is probably how to minimize the pain and discomfort you’re experiencing.
- Desensitizing Toothpastes – With consistent use, many desensitizing toothpastes can sometimes help block the pain associated with the condition.
- Fluoride Treatment – Your dentist may apply a fluoride treatment to sensitive areas to help strengthen the enamel and may even suggest an at-home fluoride rinse or prescription fluoride. Desensitizing/Bonding – Sometimes, exposed roots are successfully treated with an application of bonding resin.
- Laser Treatment – With laser treatment focused on tooth sensitivity, the laser immediately seals the tubules of the tooth preventing cold air and liquids from entering into the enamel causing the sensitivity.
- Root Canal – Although having a root canal may seem like an extreme response to tooth sensitivity, it may be an effective solution for teeth that are extremely sensitive that aren’t responding to other treatments. A root canal is a procedure used to treat problems in a tooth’s soft core, and is considered the most effective way to deal with extreme sensitivity.
- Brush up on Brushing Skills – If you’re not already using a soft-bristled toothbrush, switching to one is a good idea. Avoid vigorous, harsh or excessive brushing. Stick to brushing twice a day, and brush gently but thoroughly with a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth that also contains fluoride to strengthen enamel.
- Stop Grinding – Since tooth grinding can fracture teeth and lead to sensitivity, ask your dentist about a mouth guard.
Things to Avoid
- Acidic foods and drinks such as soda, citrus fruits, wine, yogurt, certain salad dressings, ketchup and mustard. All of these can remove small amounts of tooth enamel over time, worsening the problem. (If you do have an occasional acidic drink, use a straw to limit contact with your teeth, and drink a little water or milk immediately afterwards to neutralize acid levels in your mouth.)
- Juice is both acidic and sugary, neither of which will do you any favors when it comes to tooth sensitivity. In fact, drinking orange juice is even worse than eating an orange because the juice is liquid and can more easily wash around your teeth.
- Hot liquids such as coffee, tea or soup can trigger pain in sensitive teeth. If you simply can’t give up your morning Joe, let it cool a little before indulging, and consider drinking it with a straw. (You may get a few odd looks from people, but your teeth will be happier!)
- Cold foods and beverages can have an equally adverse effect on sensitive teeth. Either avoid them entirely, or in the case of drinks, use a straw to minimize exposure.
- Believe it or not, chewable vitamins can irritate sensitive teeth because of their acidic content. Stick to vitamins you can swallow with a glass of water.
- Aggressive Brushing – Always use a soft toothbrush or electric toothbrush. Aggressive brushing can cause gum recession, exposing the root of the tooth which is not protected by the enamel.
As you can see, there’s not one magic panacea for “curing” sensitive teeth. The solution is a many-pronged approach that requires a bit of effort on your part, and the total solution should always include regular dental visits and healthy oral hygiene habits.
Source : Icondentaldenver