Ways to Relieve Sensitive Teeth
Scared of hot and cold foods? Here are a few tips for keeping your teeth pain-free while you eat.
Do you sweat at the thought of hot chocolate? Find ice-cold soda absolutely chilling? If so, you might have sensitive teeth. Don’t give up on your favorite foods just yet. Learn about the causes of sensitive teeth and ways to reduce the “ouch.”
What are sensitive teeth?
Teeth sensitivity is caused by dentin exposure. Dentin is the soft tissue under your tooth enamel (the hard, outer layer of your tooth). Normally, tooth enamel protects dentin. But worn enamel can leave dentin vulnerable and trigger moderate to severe pain.
What causes sensitive teeth?
Your teeth might be sensitive for a number of reasons, including:
- Poor brushing habits:Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can wear away enamel and expose dentin.
- Gum disease:Inflamed, receding and sore gum tissue causes gum movement and tooth sensitivity.
- Smoking:Over time, tobacco use can wear down enamel and gum tissue to leave teeth sensitive and roots exposed.
- Cracked teeth:Broken teeth can house bacteria from plaque, causing inflammatory pain.
- Grinding your teeth:Also known as bruxism, this action erodes enamel over time, causing severe pain.
Relief for sensitive teeth
Be sure to talk to your dentist for ways to treat your sensitivity. In the meantime, some of the following could help:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush:They’re easier on your enamel and gums. And remember, harder doesn’t mean better when it comes to brushing.
- Use desensitizing toothpaste
- Use a daily fluoride rinse: Swish around in your mouth twice a day to safeguard your enamel and protect dentin.
- Watch your diet: Eat acidic foods like citrus, soda wine and tomato-based products in moderation, because they can dissolve enamel.
- Dental Applications of: Gluma, SDF, laser, ozone, varnishes (ask your dentist about these options)
- Wear a nightguard!: Clenching and grinding can make sensitivity worse.
Talk to your dentist
Regular dental checkups will not only remove the plaque and bacteria that cause gum disease, but your dentist will be able to pinpoint other reasons for sensitivity, such as receding gums, and help you determine the best treatment option for you.