Do you sometimes experience pain when drinking something cold or eating ice cream? Tooth sensitivity is a common dental condition with numerous causes that can be challenging to live with since it limits your diet. The good news is that you can effectively reduce the sensitivity of your teeth with a few simple steps.
The first step in understanding how to deal with sensitive teeth is to understand those before-mentioned numerous causes.
Tooth Sensitivity Causes
Tooth sensitivity can stem from several causes, including:
– Weakened or cracked enamel exposing the tooth’s dentin which contains sensitive nerve endings
– Receding gums or gum disease that exposes the tooth’s roots
– A broken or missing filling or crown
– Teeth whitening procedures utilizing peroxide gel that affects the tooth’s dentin
In many cases, treating the underlying cause is sufficient to eliminate tooth sensitivity. If some of your pain remains, you can take further steps to reduce it as described below.
Ways to Find Relief from Sensitive Teeth
Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
Prolonged use of toothpaste for sensitive teeth can help you find relief from tooth pain. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth contains an ingredient called potassium nitrate that blocks tubules in the dentin of your tooth reducing sensitivity.
A common mistake with this treatment method is to only use the toothpaste for a short while. To find effective relief from pain, you have to use toothpaste for sensitive teeth continuously.
Visit Your Dentist
You should visit your dentist at least once every six months for proper teeth cleaning and dental examination. Proper care can help catch situations that lead to or exasperate sensitive teeth before they start.
Your dentist may also recommend applying a desensitizing agent like fluoride varnish or plastic resins to protect your tooth roots or dentin.
Stop Tooth Grinding
Bruxism or teeth grinding can weaken your tooth enamel and expose the dentin. If you notice the following symptoms, chances are that you are suffering from bruxism:
– Jaw pain when you wake up in the mornings
– Constant headaches
– Teeth sensitivity
There are two things that you can do to stop grinding your teeth, namely changing your sleeping position and wearing a mouth guard.
Change Your Brushing Habits
Receding gums can lead to the exposure of your tooth roots which, in turn, results in tooth sensitivity. One of the most common causes of receding gums is brushing your teeth too hard.
If you use a toothbrush with hard bristles and you brush vigorously, in addition to gum recession, two things can happen. You can wear down your tooth enamel or weaken the cementum that protects the roots of your teeth.
All three of these situations can benefit from less vigorous brushing and a softer toothbrush. In the case of gum disease, your dentist can also provide a special oral rinse to help reduce bacteria and promote healing.
Summing it up: How to Deal with Sensitive Teeth
For the most part, dealing with sensitive teeth comes down to treating the underlying cause and then maintaining proper oral hygiene. It’s recommended you schedule a visit with your dentist if you are unsure what the cause of your sensitive teeth is.