It’s that searing pain that shoots through your mouth when you bite into a cold Popsicle or drink a cup of hot coffee. You have sensitive teeth and the seemingly normal foods that other people seem to enjoy making you cringe at the thought of consuming them. Approximately 1 in 8 people suffer from the same condition, so at least you’re not alone. However, that doesn’t change the fact that tooth sensitivity can have a negative effect on your quality of life – something you have the option of fighting back against. In this post, we’ll help you understand more about tooth sensitivity what you can do to minimize its effects.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity occurs when there is too little enamel protecting the sensitive dentin and nerves inside the teeth. This could occur as a result of tooth decay, brushing too hard, or even the gums receding and exposing the sensitive tooth surfaces beneath them. You’ll know you have areas with thin enamel when eating very hot, cold, or even sweet foods causes pain in your teeth. You may also feel this sensation when breathing in cold air on a winter day.
Find Out Why Your Teeth are Sensitive
Before you can address your tooth sensitivity, you first need to know the reason for your pain. Schedule a visit with your Houston dentist right away to discuss your symptoms and undergo an exam. Sometimes a visual exam can reveal recessed gums that may be treatable with a thorough cleaning or perhaps even a grafting procedure.
If your teeth are sensitive simply due to thin enamel, you may need a different treatment protocol. Initially, this may include a cleaning followed with a fluoride varnish or gel to help strengthen the enamel. In some cases, we may also recommend treating exposed dentin with a bonding agent that can help seal the surface of the teeth and prevent temperature changes from affecting the porous areas of the dentin below.
You may also need to follow an at-home regimen to combat the pain. This may include:
Brushing with a Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
There are several kinds of toothpaste made for people with sensitive teeth. These are typically low-abrasives to prevent the condition from worsening. They also tend to contain desensitizing ingredients that help block pain signals between the nerves in the teeth.
Using a Soft-Bristled Brush
A hard-bristled brush may give you that squeaky clean feeling you like, but it could also be damaging your enamel. Try switching to a soft-bristled brush instead.
Rinsing with an Enamel-Restoring Mouthwash
There are certain mouthwashes and rinse agents that have been shown to help re-mineralize soft areas in the tooth enamel. This not only helps reduce tooth sensitivity, but it may also be effective in preventing cavities from forming. Not to mention, it keeps your breath smelling minty fresh long after you’ve rinsed.
If you are struggling with sensitive teeth, we here at Briter Dental want to help. Contact our office today to find out more about the ways you can address tooth sensitivity and to schedule your next appointment.