How to deal with sensitive teeth

How to deal with sensitive teeth

March 9, 2020 11:40 am Published by

It’s normal to have an occasional twinge in your teeth if you take a gulp of piping hot coffee or a big bite of ice cream, but if you wince every time you taste something hot or cold, it’s likely you are suffering from sensitive teeth. The discomfort and pain from sensitive teeth can vary depending on the underlying cause – in extreme cases it can be triggered by such unlikely culprits as sweet foods or cold air – and for some people it can make them avoid certain food and drink altogether. However, there is plenty you can do to help treat it.

  • Causes

Sensitive teeth has many different causes, and it may be more than one that is making you miserable. Tooth decay is a very common one. Here, acid created by bacteria in the mouth attacks the outer protective surface of the tooth, called enamel, and over time creates holes. These holes expose first the cementum, then the underlying dentin and the nerves inside your teeth. This is what makes your teeth hypersensitive. Other causes work much the same way, such as tooth fractures, old or damaged fillings, or excessive tooth grinding. Gum disease can also increase sensitivity, as gums pull back and, over time, the growth of bacteria destroys the tooth enamel.

  • Killing with kindness

It’s ironic but looking after your teeth can be a cause of tooth sensitivity. If you are brushing your teeth too vigorously with a hard-bristled brush, especially around the gums, you could actually be causing damage. Food and diet may not be helping either – for example, drinking fruit juice allows sugar and acid to soften tooth enamel and make it vulnerable. Cleaning your teeth straight afterwards would mean you are brushing the enamel straight off!

  • Treatment

First of all, it’s essential to see your dentist regularly, and if you are suffering from excessively sensitive teeth, you should see them straight away. Your dentist can quickly check for any underlying causes, and give you the diagnosis and treatment that is going to help you. Typically this could be a new filling, or a crown to fix a small fracture. Afterwards, you’ll probably find the sensitivity disappears of its own accord. If your teeth are otherwise healthy then your dentist may recommend a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. This contains chemicals that help block the pain signals being sent to your nerves. Normally you’ll notice a difference after a few days of use.

  • Other solutions

If you’ve been to the dentist but can’t seem to escape the sensitivity, then it might be time to consider other lifestyle factors. Teeth bleaching, if done frequently, can be a factor – so it could be time to cut back. If you are a tooth grinder, then a mouthguard can help prevent further enamel loss, and over time allowing the enamel to naturally repair itself. If you really can’t find an answer and are still suffering considerably, your dentist may recommend a root canal treatment. This means you won’t feel sensitivity afterwards, as the nerve is no longer inside the tooth.

  • Prevention

As with most dental problems, prevention is better than cure! Quite simply, take good care of your tooth enamel. Make sure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and try to brush at a 45-degree angle rather than straight-on. Your dentist can help advise on the best techniques if you are unsure. If you like to drink fruit juice, then have a glass of water afterwards. This will help rinse away acid and bacteria, and reduce the pH level of your mouth so that enamel is not softened so much. Avoid acidic food like sweets, processed foods and citrus fruits, as these will all produce that trouble-causing bacteria and acid. If you like to play sports, then invest in a mouth guard to prevent fractures or other damage to teeth. So, be aware of your diet and lifestyle, brush carefully, and you’ll be on your way to healthy, non-sensitive teeth in no time.

Categorised in:

This post was written by admin