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Posted on: October 7, 2021
Understanding Sensitive Teeth
Many people suffer from the pain and inconvenience of sensitive teeth when they consume acidic foods or icy beverages. Some are adversely affected by cold air and sweets. Even routine activities like your oral hygiene regimen can cause distress. The pain can be excruciating, and the inconvenience can be frustrating, but sensitive teeth should not be a permanent condition. When you understand the causes of sensitive teeth, they’re easier to treat, and the pain can be eliminated.
Tooth sensitivity is often caused by erosion in the tooth enamel that protects the roots and nerves. Erosion can be caused by aggressive brushing habits. Additionally, erosion can happen when the root becomes exposed due to a cracked tooth or the onset of tooth decay. If your gums have receded due to gum disease, the roots and nerves can be exposed. You can experience significant pain when the roots and nerves contact acidic, sweet, or icy foods or beverages. Many times, simple changes to your lifestyle and habits can yield a significant improvement in the amount of pain from your sensitive teeth.
The best treatment protocol will depend on the cause of your tooth sensitivity. If your dentin and nerves are exposed, then desensitizing toothpaste may help. Desensitizing toothpaste protects the nerve endings so that they don’t respond to substances with which they come into contact. Fluoride treatments can help strengthen your tooth enamel and may alleviate much of your tooth sensitivity. When applied as a sealant, a fluoride treatment can prevent substances from contacting your tooth enamel. It can also prevent food particles from lodging between your teeth and causing decay and plaque buildup. If these procedures are ineffective, your dentist may suggest a root canal and dental crown, which will restore functionality to the tooth and eliminate the pain.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth in Patients?
Although underlying health issues can cause sensitive teeth, the more common causes are as follows:
- Aggressive brushing with a firm-bristled toothbrush can cause significant damage to your teeth. Consider switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush and using gentle pressure when you brush.
- Acidic foods such as citrus foods and beverages, pickles, tomatoes, and other acidic or icy beverages can trigger tooth pain, so try to avoid them.
- Bruxism, or grinding your teeth at night, can damage your tooth enamel. It can also crack and chip your teeth, so if you have bruxism, get a custom nightguard from your dentist. Avoid those from the local superstore because they won’t fit well, they’ll be uncomfortable, and they may fall out.
- Alcohol or other substances in mouthwash can aggravate sensitive teeth, so consider switching to a formula for sensitive teeth, preferably a formula that contains fluoride. Don’t stop using mouthwash, however, because it removes residual bacteria from your mouth and should be an integral part of your daily hygiene regimen.
- Tooth-whitening products can aggravate sensitive teeth, so if you’re using tooth-whitening products, switch to those with a sensitive-teeth formula.
- Recent dental procedures can briefly increase the sensitivity in your teeth, but the condition shouldn’t last more than a few days. If it does, contact your dentist to rule out the possibility of an infection.
- Cracked or chipped teeth can allow bacteria to enter and start the process of decay. If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, get a filling or a crown from your dentist without delay.
- Decay around the base of an old filling can indicate that the filling has failed and needs to be replaced. Contact your dentist for an appointment. If you replace the failed filling promptly, it should be a simple procedure.
- If gum disease has caused your gums to recede and the tooth roots and nerves are exposed, then you need a prompt dental appointment. Gum disease is completely curable when treated early. Your dentist can apply a sealant to protect the roots and nerves, and they can treat the inflammation that’s causing the gum disease.
It’s important to ascertain the cause of tooth sensitivity because it may be due to a serious underlying health issue. Also, the sooner you seek treatment for your sensitive teeth, the sooner you can resume eating your favorite foods and doing the outdoor activities you enjoy.
What Should I Do to Repair My Sensitive Teeth?
Visiting your dentist is the first step in helping your sensitive teeth so that they can determine the cause and treat it. You can also consider the following tips:
- Make annual dental checkups and cleanings an integral part of your oral health routine. Your dentist may be able to spot minor issues before they escalate and may be able to suggest ways to improve your oral care routine.
- Be as dedicated to your oral health as you are to your physical health.
- Be consistent, and don’t skip no matter how late it is or how little time you have in the morning.
- Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle pressure when you brush.
- Use toothpaste and mouthwash that contain fluoride and are formulated specifically for sensitive teeth.
- If you have bruxism, get a custom night guard from your dentist.
By proactively addressing issues with your teeth and gums, you can keep your teeth as healthy as possible and reduce or eliminate the onset of issues like sensitive teeth. If you have sensitive teeth, your dentist is the best resource for finding the causes and determining the best treatment protocol.
Are There Dental Tips To Help Sensitive Teeth?
Your dentist is the best resource for dental advice, consider discussing the following options with them:
- If your sensitivity is due to receding gums, you might consider a gum graft. This will cover the exposed roots and nerves and restore functionality to the tooth.
- Consider fluoride treatments to strengthen your tooth enamel. Fluoride can be applied as a sealant that will prevent substances from contacting the tooth enamel, or it can be applied to the surface of the teeth, or it can be applied to specific sensitive areas.
- Consider switching to desensitizing toothpaste, which will protect the roots and the nerves from any aggravating substances. You should notice an improvement in your pain frequency within a few days.
Tooth sensitivity is annoying and painful, but it can be fixed. Many options are available for treatment and prevention, so contact your Palm Coast dentist today to learn your best options. With good hygiene practices and proactive treatment of issues as they arise, your teeth should last throughout your lifetime, and you won’t need implants or false teeth.