Tooth sensitivity can be a real pain. No one wants to wince in pain each time they bite into a popsicle. Having teeth sensitive to hotness and cold is fairly common – approximately one in five people deal with it. It is most common among adults between the ages of 20 to 40. Women are more likely to experience tooth sensitivity than men. The sensitivity can range from getting a mild twinge to experiencing severe discomfort that can last for hours on end. It can sometimes be an early warning for a more serious dental complication. If you’re suffering from tooth sensitivity, you do not have to put up with the discomfort indefinitely. There are things you can do to reduce the sensitivity.
What Causes Sensitivity of Teeth?
Brushing with too Much Force
If you brush your teeth using too much force or use a hard bristled toothbrush, there is a chance of making your teeth sensitive. This is as a result of wearing down the protective layer of your teeth, exposing the microscopic hollow canals or tubes leading to the dental nerves. This leaves the nerves exposed to extreme temperatures and acidity. To avoid this sort of situation, use a toothbrush with soft bristles and be gentle when brushing your teeth.
Eating Acidic Foods
Acidic foods eat away the protective layer of your teeth, leaving the pathways to your nerves exposed. Foods such as lemon, tomato sauce, kiwi, grapefruit and pickles are examples of acidic foods you should avoid. This will help avoid tooth discomfort.
Grinding Your Teeth
Do you always grind your teeth-? You need to stop this bad habit. While tooth enamel is one of the strongest substances in your body, grinding your teeth can wear down the protective enamel of your teeth. This leads to the exposure of the dentin (the middle layer of your teeth). If you are struggling to kick this habit, you should consult your dentist about getting a mouth guard. You can get a mouth guard custom made to fit in your mouth.
Using Tooth-Whitening Toothpaste
Tooth whitening is all the rage nowadays. Everyone wants a dashing white smile. However, tooth whitening chemical added to toothpaste can make your teeth sensitive to cold. If you are using toothpaste with whitening chemicals, switch to something else and the sensitivity might just go away.
Are you a mouthwash junkie? It could be the reason you’re struggling with teeth sensitivity. Just like whitening toothpaste, some mouthwash manufacturers add alcohol and other chemicals to help clean the teeth. These additives can make your teeth more sensitive. Instead of using mouthwash, try neural fluoride rinses or avoid mouthwashes and rinses all together by flossing or brushing.
As you age, the chances of having receding gums increase tremendously. This is especially so if you have poor dental hygiene. This can lead to tooth sensitivity. In case you have gingivitis or gum disease, consult your dentist. They should be able to help you come up with a plan to treat the underlying disease. If necessary, they will suggest a procedure to heal seal your exposed teeth.
When you eat, food particles build up around your teeth, forming plaque. Flossing and brushing helps remove this plaque. If the buildup of plaque goes unchecked, it can lead to the erosion of tooth enamel. This will in turn lead to teeth sensitivity. Practice good dental hygiene to avoid excessive buildup of plaque. Make a point of visiting your dentist for cleaning at least once every six months.
Have you had a dental procedure done recently? A root canal, extraction or placement of a crown can make teeth sensitive to cold. This should only last a few days following the procedure. Should the sensitivity persist, visit your dentist as it could be a sign of infection.
If you have a cracked or chipped tooth, there is a chance you might experience tooth sensitivity. You will also feel pain. This might need to be examined by a dentist to determine the best course of action. Usually an extraction or a cap should solve the problem.
Decay can develop around the edges of any fillings you’ve had. This is because fillings tend to fracture and weaken as you grow lder. They might also leak around the edges creating a breeding ground for bacteria. When bacteria build up in these crevices there can be build up of acid which causes the enamel of your teeth to break down. This will inevitably lead to tooth sensitivity. If you notice your fillings are begging to wear out, see your dentist for replacements.
Remedies and Treatments For Sensitive Teeth
The first step you should take is to stop eating foods that make your teeth sensitive to cold. Avoid acidic, hot, sweet or cold drinks. You might also need to avoid drinking cold water straight from the tap. Instead drink warm water.
See Your Dentist
The most important step is to see a specialist. A dentist will determine the root cause of the sensitivity and recommend the best course of action. The dentist might recommend the use of desensitizing products to deal with the symptoms. You might require several treatments to resolve the problem completely. Should the sensitivity persist, your dentist may seal the areas around the tooth where dentine is exposed. In extreme cases they might recommend a root-filling of the affected teeth.
Use Toothpaste For Sensitive Teeth
There are many brands of toothpaste for sensitive teeth that can help reduce the discomfort. Rub some fluoride toothpaste onto the sensitive areas of your teeth twice a day. It will take several weeks to heal completely. If you’re not sure about the toothpaste you should use, consult with your dentist.
Teeth Sensitive To Cold? You Can Prevent It
Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Using a soft bristled brush, brush your teeth using small circular movements.
Make a point of changing your toothbrush every 3 months or as soon as you notice some wear.
Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after you’v eaten. Wait for at least an hour since some foods soften the enamel making it susceptible to erosion when brushing your teeth.
If you want to whiten your teeth, consult your dentist.
Avoid sugary, fizzy or acidic drinks.
If you have a habit of grinding your teeth, break the habit by using a mouthguard.
Have your teeth examined by a dentist on a regular basis.