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Posted on: November 4, 2021
Understanding Sensitive Teeth
Feeling a sharp, stinging sensation when consuming things that are sour, sweet, hot, or cold can be indicative of sensitive teeth and gums. Fortunately, this is a common issue that is simple to treat.
While this issue is a treatable one, it is also one that can cause you a great deal of pain. Routine activities like brushing, flossing and even breathing in cold air can lead to discomfort and pain. Once you understand what is causing your sensitive teeth, you will be able to take steps to help you manage and reverse symptoms. This will allow you to enjoy activities, foods and drinks that you may have been avoiding due to your tooth sensitivity.
There are many causes of tooth sensitivity. In many cases, it is caused by tooth enamel being worn away and exposing the tooth’s root. Cracked teeth, tooth decay, receded gums, gum disease and aggressive brushing can also cause sensitivity. Once the nerves of the tooth’s root are exposed, they become sensitive to extreme sensations, leading to discomfort and pain.
Sensitivity caused by exposed dentin and nerves is usually treated via the use of desensitizing toothpastes and fluoride supplements. If the culprit behind your tooth sensitivity is receding gums, your dentist may opt to use a dentin bonding agent to prevent irritants from touching the nerve. If none of these treatment options help, you may have a more serious dental issue requiring a different procedure. For instance, a root canal may be performed to rid the tooth of issues found within its pulp.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth and Gums
- Using a hard-bristled toothbrush and brushing your teeth too hard can wear down tooth enamel, exposing sensitive nerves to extreme sensations. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and always be gentle when it comes to brushing your teeth.
- Acidic foods and beverages can cause the breakdown of tooth enamel. To reduce symptoms, avoid citrus fruits, pickles, tomatoes and other acidic items.
- Grinding your teeth at night exposes dentin and nerve tissue. A custom-fitted mouth guard may be necessary to prevent further damage from occurring.
- Ingredients found in some tooth-whitening products can cause tooth sensitivity. Switching brands can help eliminate the issue.
- Some mouthwashes contain alcohol and other ingredients that can lead to sensitive teeth. You can use a neutral mouthwash or eliminate the product from your dental care routine.
- Gum disease can cause your gums to recede, exposing sensitive areas of your teeth. Dental sealants can be helpful in addressing this issue, as can gum inflammation treatments.
- A dental procedure such as a root canal, filling or extraction can cause temporary sensitivity. If the sensitivity doesn’t go away, talk to your dentist, as you may have an infection.
- A cracked or chipped tooth can also cause sensitivity. These issues should be addressed as soon as possible. If left untreated, your sensitivity could turn into severe pain.
- Old fillings sometimes leak or fracture, causing acid and bacteria to breakdown the enamel. This is typically remedied by replacing the filling.
Occasionally, tooth sensitivity can be a symptom of a serious underlying condition. It’s important that you seek out treatment from your dentist if you have sensitive teeth or gums. He or she may prescribe special toothpastes or fluoride treatments to help in treating your sensitivity.
Helping Sensitive Teeth
- Schedule visits with your dentist in Peoria on a regular basis to be sure that your dental health is in good shape.
- Stay consistent with your at-home dental care routine.
- Brush your teeth and gums gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Utilize toothpastes designed for sensitive teeth.
- Use fluoride mouthwash.
- Wear a mouth guard when you sleep at night to prevent teeth grinding.
- Refrain from eating acidic foods like oranges, tomatoes and lemons.
Knowing the causes of your sensitive teeth is an essential element of knowing how to properly treat them. For instance, sensitive caused by grinding of the teeth is usually treated via the use of a custom-fitted mouthguard. This assists in preventing fractures and sensitivity.
Staying away from acidic items such as particular fruits, carbonated beverages and wine can also help you to keep sensitivity at bay. These items erode enamel and expose sensitive areas of the teeth. Drinking water or milk after consuming acidic items can help. Be sure to avoid brushing the teeth right after consuming these items, as that can lead to further erosion.
Reducing Tooth Sensitivity
While it’s always best to seek out a professional opinion, the below tips can help you with your sensitive teeth:
- Discover Desensitizing Toothpaste – These specially formulated toothpastes will keep sensitivity from hitting the tooths’ nerves. They tend to work after just a few applications.
- Ask About Fluoride – Having fluoride applied to the sensitive spots on your teeth can strengthen the enamel and keep sensitivity from happening.
- Find the Remedy at the Roots – Receded gums can be treated via a gum graft that will cover the tooth’s root and eliminate the source of discomfort, pain and sensitivity.
Teeth and gums that are sensitive are easily treated. This common issue is also completely preventable. If you brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day and gently brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush, you will reduce your risks of developing sensitive teeth and gums. Another way to prevent this problem from occurring is to see your dentist consistently for check-ups. Avoiding acidic foods and beverages will also help you to prevent erosion that leads to sensitivity.
While sensitive teeth can cause you a great deal of a pain and suffering, it’s important to know that you can treat this issue effectively. Practice good dental hygiene habits and see your dentist to receive the proper treatment for your sensitive teeth. Once you’ve properly addressed your problem, you will be able to return to your normal activities without having to worry about pain and discomfort setting in.