Does drinking a cold beverage cause you pain? Do you cringe when you brush or floss? Do you feel pain when you breathe cold air? Do you have pain when visit your favorite dentist for a teeth cleaning. If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have tooth sensitivity.
Many things can cause sensitivity in your teeth, even things you can’t control, such as genetics or medications. Luckily there are things you can do to lessen tooth sensitivity and improve your oral health. Let take a closer look at what you can and can’t do to ease the discomfort of having sensitive teeth.
1. You brush with too much force
If you are brushing your teeth with a lot of force or using a hard bristle toothbrush, you can wear down the protective layers of your teeth and expose the areas that cause pain. When hot or cold temperatures, foods, and liquids reach the nerves of the tooth, tooth sensitivity and discomfort occur. You can improve this by switching to a soft bristle toothbrush and be gentler when brushing your teeth.
2. You consume acidic foods and beverages
If pathways to the nerve of the tooth are exposed, acidic foods such as lemons, grapefruit, tomato sauce, and pickles and drinks, such as soda, can cause pain. Using a toothpaste that is specifically for sensitive teeth, such as Sensodyne, may help, however avoiding these foods and beverages may be the best way to prevent tooth sensitivity longterm.
3. You grind your teeth
Grinding your teeth can wear down the enamel and by doing so, exposing the pathway to the nerves of your teeth. Using a mouthguard can protect your teeth from the damages caused by grinding. Generic mouth guards can be purchased over the counter or for better results–your dental office can make custom mouth guards.
4. You are using a whitening toothpaste
Many varieties of toothpaste contain a tooth whitening agent, which can cause sensitivity. Consider switching toothpaste to one without a whitening agent to prevent this type of sensitivity.
Some over the counter brands of mouthwash contain alcohol and whitening agents that can lead to additional sensitivity, especially if there is access to the nerves of your teeth. Try a neutral fluoride rinse or try an alcohol and whitening free mouthwash.
6. You have gum disease
Receding gums can cause tooth sensitivity. This is a common occurrence with age, especially if you have not kept up with routine dental care. A visit to the dentist will inform you of options you have to seal or cover your teeth and assist with tooth sensitivity.
7. You have excessive plaque
Lack of brushing and flossing can result in a buildup of plaque, which wears away the enamel on your teeth. Once this is gone, it cannot be replaced and can no longer protect the nerves of your teeth. Good oral hygiene practices can strengthen the remaining enamel, and regular dental visits can help keep plaque away.
8. You have had recent dental work
It’s ubiquitous to have sensitivity after having dental procedures performed. This sensitivity should go away with a few days. If the problem continues, contact your dentist for a follow-up visit to be sure there are no complications or infections.
9. Your tooth is cracked
A cracked tooth can cause a lot of tooth sensitivity, especially if the nerve has been affected. A visit to a good cosmetic dentist is necessary to determine the correct course of treatment to resolve the sensitivity, where it includes a crown or an extraction and tooth replacement.
10. There is decay around a filling
Fillings can weaken over time and fracture. If the edges are not sealed, decay and bacteria can get under the filling, which can also impact the nerve of the tooth. Regular dental visits by an experienced dentist are essential to catch these situations early on so the filling can be replaced. In certain circumstances, a crown may be necessary to keep the tooth healthy and protected from further decay.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact us.