How to improve tooth sensitivity
If you have ever had sensitive teeth, you know how it can begin to cause stress to just get through a day. You may feel like you need to avoid eating or drinking anything. The company meal that you have planned can begin to feel like an insurmountable obstacle. When you force yourself to eat or drink something, the discomfort can ruin your whole experience. Many patients who have tooth sensitivity end up being dehydrated and undernourished because they would rather avoid foods altogether.
If you have tooth sensitivity that is affecting your ability to eat and drink, schedule an appointment with your dentist today. It is important to identify the underlying cause of your sensitivity so that you can get back to living. If you must wait to make it into the office, there are a few things that you can do to alleviate some of your sensitivity.
The Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity can happen to anybody for a variety of reasons. There is no demographic that is exempt from getting tooth sensitivity, so no matter who you are, it’s a good idea to know how to handle it. Most commonly, people experience tooth sensitivity due to temperature changes, either hot or cold foods, and drinks, exposure to the air, sweet or acidic foods.
Typically, the enamel over your teeth helps to protect the sensitive dentin underneath from being exposed to these elements. However, if the enamel has been compromised by a cavity, crack, break, gum disease or recession, or root erosion the dentin can trigger tooth sensitivity.
Additionally, may patients can feel some tooth sensitivity after they have used whitening products or had a dental procedure like a filling completed. If you have recently received a filling and have tooth sensitivity, you should schedule a follow-up appointment with your dentist. The filling may be sitting too high, or you may need a bite adjustment to avoid further sensitivity.
Alleviating the Sensitivity
Fortunately, there are many products or approaches that you can take to reduce or eliminate tooth sensitivity. If you have any questions about these treatments, you should consult with a dentist before beginning or using specific products.
Desensitizing toothpaste – Tooth sensitivities are so common, that there are many different kinds of toothpaste on the market to help desensitize your teeth. If you need some guidance on which toothpaste to use, you can always contact your dentist. However, you should look for a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride helps to build the protective enamel coating on the surface of your teeth. You can also spread a thin layer of this toothpaste over the roots of your teeth before you go to bed.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush – Overly stiff bristles can push gums further down and away from the teeth. This exposes more of the tooth and can cause additional sensitivities rather than alleviating your existing condition.
Avoid acidic foods – Acids in foods, some mouthwashes, and many drinks can trigger sensitivities in the dentin. By avoiding acids, you can sometimes avoid the sensitivities completely. Look for alternative mouthwashes that don’t contain acid.
Treat bruxism – Bruxism is a condition that causes teeth grinding. Many patients may not be aware that they are grinding their teeth. Visit with your dentist to see if you are grinding your teeth, or if you know you are, to help with an intervention. There are many options available on the open market. Your dentist can fit you for a mouthguard to eliminate teeth grinding.
If you have tooth sensitivity, schedule your dental appointment today. In the meantime, you can follow some of these simple guidelines to help reduce the discomfort that you are feeling today.