If you have sensitive teeth, you know that eating foods such as ice cream or hot pizza can be a tricky ordeal. Often, hot or cold substances passing over your teeth will cause you extremediscomfort, and you may find yourself chewing delicately or waiting for your food to get to room temperature. Tooth sensitivity is painful and inconvenient, but it can be easy to treat, especially when you understand the causes.
The Root of the Problem
Tooth sensitivity often results from the enamel being worn away,
exposing the softer layers of the teeth. This layer, known as dentin, is highly porous. It therefore allows sensitivity triggers—such as hot foods or cold beverages—to affect the nerve inside the tooth, causing pain.
Wear on the enamel may result from various causes. In addition, the dentin may become exposed when the gums recede from the roots, as is the case with gum disease. In general, tooth sensitivity may stem from the following:
- Brushing too hard, or using a hard-bristled toothbrush
- Grinding the teeth
- Some tooth whitening products
- Damage to the teeth, such as chips and cracks
- Tooth decay
- Certain types of dental work
- Consuming acidic foods, such as pickles, tomatoes, citrus fruits, and certain beverages
Fortunately, there are various simple ways to reduce tooth sensitivity, many of which can be done at home.
The simplest solutions for sensitive teeth include the following:
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush
- Toothpaste is often abrasive, so switching to a less abrasive paste can help
- Use toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth
- Keep up on oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and rinsing
- Reduce your consumption of highly acidic foods, especially coke and sports drinks
If these do not work, then there is likely another issue at work that requires professional examination.
Tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues generally require dental treatments. Depending on the cause of your sensitive teeth, your dentist may provide one of the following treatments:
- Mouth guard to prevent tooth grinding
- Dental bonding
- Inlays and onlays to fill in cracks or chips
- Periodontal treatment to deal with gum disease
In order to work, these treatments require the knowledge and practiced precision of an experienced dentist. Also, it is generally recommended that you visit your dentist once every six months, as this can go a long way toward preventing teeth sensitivity issues in the first place. At Lynn Dental Care, Dr. Lynn provides the competent diagnosis and treatment that you need to reduce tooth sensitivity and preserve your oral health.