Biting into an apple or enjoying a nice cold popsicle on a hot day may seem like second nature to some people, but for others it can be a nightmare. The slight pain and discomfort from normal activities such as brushing teeth, drinking certain beverages, or eating certain foods is called tooth sensitivity. The cause of tooth sensitivity can be a number of different things from worn tooth enamel, to exposed tooth roots, or other oral health issues such as cavities, a chipped tooth, or gum disease.
Tooth sensitivity is common. Many people experience some degree of tooth sensitivity. According to a 2013 study conducted by the Journal of The American Dental Association, 1 in 8 people have sensitive teeth. Fortunately, there is a way to manage it.
Try using desensitising toothpaste. There are toothpaste brands that offer toothpaste options with special ingredients designed to ease the pain of sensitive teeth. When using desensitizing toothpaste, it is recommended that you not rinse the toothpaste out after brushing. Use a small amount of toothpaste, spit excess out, but leave the toothpaste on your teeth to do its work. There are also special brands of mouth rinses you can try that have a similar effect. You can also go the professional route and ask your dentist to apply a topical desensitizing agent to your teeth. These powerful agents such as varnish or gel, can safeguard your teeth from exposure to substances that typically cause sensitivity. Your dentist will usually give you a thorough cleaning as part of this procedure and you’ll likely need to go in for regular checkups. Another option your dentist might have is laser treatment. This type of treatment is cutting edge technology used to administer painless and effective treatment of tooth sensitivity.
The other thing you can do is take preventive measures by improving your overall oral health. There are known trigger foods that bring on the pain of tooth sensitivity immediately. These foods include soda, ice cream, tomatoes, ice, hard candy, sticky candy, hot coffee, and citrus fruits. The sugars and acids prevalent in these foods wreak havoc on your teeth. Making a habit of avoiding these known triggers can drastically reduce the effects of tooth sensitivity.
If you have sensitive teeth, you will also benefit from using a soft brush and gently brushing your teeth. Otherwise, hard bristles can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth which will expose your teeth to more harm. Use soft strokes and gently brush your teeth up and down twice a day. Do this for two minutes each time.
Also, make sure to schedule a visit with your dentist! Regular teeth cleaning visits with your dentist is the best way to manage tooth sensitivity. By visiting your dentist at least twice a year, you will have a better chance of avoiding gum disease and tooth decay which can be a trigger for tooth sensitivity.
While sensitive teeth may seem unbearable, there are ways you can minimize it or relieve it all together. The most important thing is to take care of your health and work with your dentist to determine the best course of action for you. If you’re looking for a friendly dentist that can walk you through treatment options in a clear way, contact us. We’d love to partner with you on your path of oral health.