Do your teeth have a mind of their own?
A few different culprits could be to blame for this, from acidic foods to even certain kinds of toothpaste. If you find that brushing and flossing your teeth causes you to wince, or that you dread sipping on an ice-cold beverage, you could have what dentists refer to as tooth sensitivity. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with the pain, as there are steps you can take to reduce the sensitivity of your teeth and improve your oral health.
Here we will discuss the leading causes of tooth sensitivity, as well as what you can do to find relief.
You Are Brushing with Too Much Enthusiasm
Sometimes tooth sensitivity comes about from using a toothbrush that has hard bristles or brushing teeth with too much force. Over time, the protective layers of teeth can become worn down due to this and the dental nerves can become exposed. When the tubes leading to these nerves are exposed to certain temperatures and food, sensitivity and discomfort can become the result. The simplest way to combat this is to use a toothbrush with softer bristles and to be gentle while brushing.
You Eat Acidic Food
When dental nerves are uncovered, acidic foods such as tomato sauce and fruit such as lemon and/or kiwi can cause pain to flare up. Therefore, you may want to limit your intake of these foods or avoid them altogether.
You Grind Your Teeth
Despite being the body’s strongest substance, enamel can become worn down as a result of teeth-grinding. Grinding teeth exposes the middle layer of the teeth, referred to as dentin, which contains the tubes that lead to the dental nerves. If this is a problem of yours, speak with your dentist about a mouthguard that can protect you from grinding. The best guards will be custom-fit for your bite.
You Use Whitening Paste
Are you using a tooth-whitening paste? Many manufacturers of this toothpaste type add chemicals which work to bleach the teeth. Some individuals, however, are sensitive to these chemicals. If your toothpaste contains these whitening-agents, perhaps you should try a kind that does not.
You Use Mouthwash
Just as is the case with whitening pastes, many types of mouthwash that are available over-the-counter contain alcohol and other ingredients that may lead to tooth sensitivity in a number of individuals. This sensitivity can especially arise when dentin is exposed. To help reverse sensitivity caused by rinses, try a neutral fluoride rinse or simply brush and floss correctly and avoid using mouthwash altogether.
The Potential of Gum Disease
Receding gums is something that is common as a person ages, especially if dental hygiene was not a priority. This, therefore, can lead to tooth sensitivity. If gingivitis or another gum disease is the culprit your dentist will be able to work with you on a plan to not only treat the disease but he or she may also suggest a procedure to seal the teeth.
You Have Excess Plaque
The reason why it is important to brush, and floss is to remove the plaque that builds each time we sit down to a meal. Failing to do this can cause an excess of plaque, which wears away enamel. Without the protection of tooth enamel, they may become more sensitive. The way to fix this is to stay on top of your oral hygiene. Brush and floss regularly, as well as make time to see your dentist for routine cleanings once every six months – perhaps more when necessary.
You Have Undergone a Dental Procedure
Have you recently undergone a root canal, crown placement, or extraction? If so, it is not uncommon to experience some tooth sensitivity following one of these dental procedures. Just be sure to monitor how long you experience this discomfort. If sensitivity persists, visit your dentist for a check-up, as this could be a sign of infection.
You Have a Cracked Tooth
When it comes to a tooth that is cracked or chipped, sensitivity may be an understatement. You will want to visit your dentist as soon as possible so that he or she can evaluate your tooth and work with you on a solution, whether that be extraction or other procedure.
There’s Decay Forming Around the Edges of Your Fillings
As time passes, fillings may begin to become damaged around the edges. This damage can lead to the formation of bacteria, which in turn may cause enamel to break down and acid to build up. Fillings can be replaced and fixed, so if you notice any damage surrounding your fillings visit your dentists.
Tooth sensitivity is not enjoyable, but it is treatable. There are kinds of toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth, although these do not work for everyone. If you have tried these steps and yet your sensitivity persists, visit your dentist for a thorough and personalized evaluation.