Do your teeth feel so sensitive that they cause you pain when you eat or drink cold or hot items? Read about some of the reasons why sensitive teeth develop and how you can reduce the pain.
According to the American Dental Association, teeth often experience sensitivity due to exposed dentin, which lies beneath tooth enamel. Dentin has tiny tubes that react to heat exposure, cold, and certain foods that are either acidic or sticky. Usually it is blocked by enamel, but if that wears off, the dentin can come into contact with foods and drinks that trigger serious discomfort. Cracked or fractured teeth can also contribute to sensitive teeth, as can exposed tooth roots.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Poor oral hygiene is one of the worst culprits for developing sensitive teeth. First, bad brushing technique can be a killer. Brushing too hard with a stuff toothbrush wears away at your enamel. It can also affect your gums, making them recede, which then runs the risk of exposing the sensitive roots of your teeth.
Skipping Regular Brushing and Flossing
Skipping regular brushing and flossing can also negatively impact the health of your gums, which can cause receding, Not only that, but poor oral hygiene leads to gum disease that leaves your gums inflamed. In that state, they are less able to support ligaments within the gums, which makes them more likely to expose roots. Too much plaque buildup can contribute to sensitivity as well.
Tooth whitening is another common cause. Solutions designed to give you a brilliant smile penetrate your teeth, affecting the inner areas and any decay that may be there. For many people, that increases the sensitivity of their teeth.
Reduce Pain from Sensitive Teeth
How can you reduce the pain from sensitive teeth? First, pay special attention to your oral health routine. If you have been skimping on how well you take care of your teeth and you are experiencing pain, it’s time to crack down on your oral hygiene. Brush regularly, though not too hard, and don’t forget to floss. Round out your routine with a fluoride rinse that strengthens tooth enamel.
You can also try desensitizing toothpaste. It reduces sensations of sensitivity to make your life more comfortable. Don’t get discouraged if the first brand you buy isn’t perfect – sometimes you have to shop around before you find the product that works best for you.
It may seem like common sense, but it still bears mentioning: avoid things that seem to trigger sensitivity. For example, if you cannot tolerate drinks that are either piping hot or ice cold, allow them to reach a less extreme temperature before enjoying them. Similarly, if whitening products put your teeth on edge, try to find less harsh alternatives for achieving a white smile.
If at home treatments fail, consult your dentist. He or she can apply fluoride gel to places experiencing the most sensitivity, or can bond an exposed tooth root. If the problem requires intensive attention, like a filling or root canal, you absolutely must see a dentist as soon as possible.
You don’t have to settle with a set of teeth that frequently experience jolts of pain. You have plenty of options, many of which you can do from your own home, that can keep tooth sensitivity under control.