Overcoming Sensitive Teeth

Overcoming Sensitive Teeth

A toothache caused by tooth sensitivity can be a real pain in the mouth. Hot, cold or sugary foods and drinks can aggravate sensitive teeth, making them sting or throb. In most cases, teeth sensitivity is the result of enamel that has worn away, exposing the dentin in the root, which is full of nerve endings.

Tooth Sensitivity Treatment

Luckily, there are basic steps you can take every day and some habits that may need to change, to help you overcome sensitive teeth pain:

1. Use a desensitizing toothpaste.

Currently, there are many options for tooth sensitivity treatment on the market. Teeth sensitivity toothpaste typically contains potassium nitrate. This active ingredient helps minimize pain by blocking the small tubules that get exposed in the dentin. However, this approach does not work effectively for all sufferers. It is important to keep using the products. Don’t use desensitizing toothpaste for a short time and expect to see lasting results. Success comes with continued usage.

2. Change the way you brush your teeth.

If you are now using a hard-bristled brush, switch to a soft toothbrush and be sure to scrub gently. Also, if you are not brushing for two minutes, you may not be thoroughly cleaning your teeth. If your bristles are too hard, or if you are brushing with too much force, you can damage teeth enamel, increasing teeth sensitivity. If you have receding gums, exposed roots or bone loss, you may be brushing too hard, scrubbing the protective cementum at the root. Gentle scrubbing with a soft brush can make all the difference.

3. Limit or avoid high-acid food and drinks.

Consistent exposure to acidic foods like carbonated soft drinks, red wine, fruit juices, and citric fruits slowly destroys your teeth enamel. If you are already experiencing teeth sensitivity, avoid these types of foods. If your teeth are not sensitive, limit acidic foods and brush your teeth 20 minutes after indulging in them. Do not brush any earlier—this will further damage your teeth enamel softened by acid exposure.

4. Ask your dentist about teeth sensitivity treatment.

If you haven’t achieved much relief using desensitizing toothpaste, your dentist may suggest a plastic resin or fluoride varnish. These barrier agents are painted on the exposed areas to help reduce pain and sensitivity. However, these methods are not permanent; they do wear off over time and will need to be reapplied to continue protection.

5. Stop nighttime teeth grinding.

If you grind your teeth at night, this damaging habit is destroying your enamel and causing teeth sensitivity. Chances are, you aren’t even aware you are doing it. Bruxism typically occurs during sleep, but the symptoms are clear: frequent headaches and jaw pain for no recognizable reason. If you suffer from bruxism, wear a nightguard to protect your teeth, or try changing your position. If you feel that you clench your jaw throughout the day, remember to relax and keep your top and bottom jaw slightly separated.

6. Seek treatment for gum recession.

In a healthy mouth, teeth roots are buried under gum tissue. But if damage has been done, and roots are exposed due to aggressive brushing or gum disease, cementum may be depleted. Your dentist may refer you to a specialist who can rebuild your worn down gum line with such treatment as a tissue graft.

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