Tips to Prevent and Reduce Tooth Sensitivity
Sensitive teeth can be a real drag. It is not fun not being able to have ice cream in summer or a hot cup of chocolate in winter. Teeth sensitivity is quite a common problem with half of all adults experiencing some level of tooth sensitivity. People with sensitive teeth have described the pain as sharp and sudden when the teeth are exposed to cold air, hot drinks or cold items. However, there are some things you can reduce and treat sensitive teeth.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Teeth become sensitive when the protective outer layer which is the enamel or the cementum covering the root is worn away. This exposes the tooth dentin that contain sensitive nerve endings, hence the sharp pain.
Any of the following dental issues can cause sensitive teeth;
• Wearing out of the tooth enamel caused by using a hard toothbrush and brushing aggressively.
• Tooth erosion from consuming highly acidic beverages and foods
• Worn out leaky fillings and broken teeth that exposes your teeth's dentin
• Gum recession which exposes the surface of the roots
• Grinding of the teeth while asleep
• Post dental treatment sensitivity common especially with procedures such as tooth bleaching and filling but it is temporary.
Tips for Preventing and Reducing Teeth Sensitivity
1. Use toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth – there are certain toothpastes that are formulated to relieve and prevent discomfort or pain caused by sensitive teeth. These toothpastes contain active ingredients that protect sensitive teeth.
2. Use a brush with soft bristles – as mentioned above, using a toothbrush with hard bristles can cause premature erosion of the enamel and the gums. Therefore, replace your hard bristled toothbrush with one with soft bristles.
3. Brush gently – brushing too aggressively and vigorously especially if you use a hard bristled toothbrush can cause damage to the enamel. Brush gently and follow instructions given by a professional.
4. Avoid grinding of teeth – this is a very bad habit especially since you do it in your sleep when you are not conscious. You should talk to your dentist so you can be fitted with a mouth guard to help protect your teeth while you sleep.
5. Reduce the amount of acidic drinks and foods you take – examples of acidic drinks and fruits include white wine, citrus fruits and soft drinks. If your teeth are already sensitive, consuming these drinks can worsen the damage to the enamel of the teeth.
6. Stop using toothpastes with teeth whitening agents – some manufacturers of toothpastes will add teeth whitening agents to the formula and some people are more sensitive than others. If you are sensitive consider switching to a toothpaste without the whitening agents.
Cracked teeth, gum disease and excessive plaque can also cause your teeth to be sensitive. If you have tried all the above tips and sensitivity persists, it is time to book an appointment at Perfect Dental and see a professional dentist.