If you experience discomfort or pain when eating, drinking, brushing, or flossing, you may be suffering from sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity could be the result of exposed tooth roots, worn enamel, cavities, cracked or chipped teeth, or a dental procedure. You may experience pain triggered by foods or beverages that are particularly hot or cold or even when breathing in extremely cold air. This pain is temporary, but sharp and can affect you frequently throughout the day. Fortunately, there are a few steps that you can take at home to relieve your pain.
The first way to prevent or manage any type or dental or oral health issue is to practice proper dental care at home. Inadequate dental care leads to plaque build-up. Plaque produces an acid that will eat away at the enamel on your teeth and cause irritation, especially if you already have sensitive teeth. Brushing with fluoridated toothpaste at least twice a day and flossing at least once daily will help to fight plaque and tooth sensitivity.
In effectively cleaning your teeth, it is important to use a soft toothbrush. Often the damaged enamel that causes tooth sensitivity is a result of brushing too aggressively or with a hard-bristled brush. Not only can this lead to enamel erosion, but it can also aggravate dentin. This tissue becomes more exposed with gum recession as you age and contains sensitive nerve endings. Therefore, if you are suffering from tooth sensitivity, you should use a toothbrush with the softest bristles you can find and brush gently.
Mild tooth sensitivity, caused by individual tooth damage, can often be treated by dental fillings; however, there is usually a more serious issue behind widespread tooth sensitivity. This cause could be gum-line recession or widespread enamel abrasion. Fillings cannot treat these issues, but switching to desensitizing toothpaste can provide some reprieve. This toothpaste can be applied to the sensitive areas of your teeth before you go to bed. It is important to spit, but not rinse, to allow the toothpaste to take affect. These toothpastes can be purchased over the counter and will fill channels in dentin to lessen sensitivity.
For people who have problems with tooth decay, fluoride rinse can help ameliorate tooth sensitivity. These can be purchased at any pharmacy or grocery store without a prescription. Sometimes these over the counter mouth rinses are not enough. In this case, your dentist can give you more intensive fluoride treatments, such as gel application, to decrease sensitivity.
Some of your personal habits may also contribute to tooth sensitivity. Chewing tobacco is often believed to be less harmful than smoking cigarettes. However, it can lead to various oral cancers and gum recession, which can lead to tooth sensitivity. Sucking on hard candy can also irritate teeth, by contributing to enamel abrasion.
If you are suffering from tooth sensitivity, take the first step to restoring your comfortable smile. Contact Lynn Dental Care today!