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Understanding Sensitive Teeth

Nov 4, 2021 - 08:11 PM EST |  Posted under: General

If you’ve suffered with sensitive teeth and gums, you know all too well how much pain the consumption of items that are hot, cold, or sour can cause. You may even experience pain when brushing, flossing or breathing in cold air. While the stinging sensation brought on by tooth sensitivity is painful, this condition is a simple one to address.

Understanding what is causing your teeth and gums to be sensitive is the best way of relieving, managing and reversing your symptoms. Once your dentist has figured out what is causing your sensitive teeth, he or she will develop a treatment plan to help you get rid of the problem. In no time at all, you’ll be able to go back to enjoying the foods, drinks and other activities that you may have been avoiding due to your sensitive teeth.

In most cases, tooth sensitivity occurs when the enamel becomes worn down on a tooth, leading to the roots being exposed. This exposure leaves the sensitive nerves of your tooth vulnerable to certain extreme sensations. Tooth decay, receded gums, cracked teeth, gum disease and brushing your teeth too hard are all ways that the enamel can become eroded.

Finding an effective method of treatment depends on knowing what the underlying cause of your sensitivity is. The first course of action that you need to take is to speak with your dentist. One of the most common types of treatment options available for sensitivity caused by worn down enamel is to start using a desensitizing toothpaste that has been formulated especially for sensitive teeth and gums. Fluoride supplements are another popular treatment option. If your tooth sensitivity is being caused by receded gums, your dentist may apply dental sealants to your teeth or suggested a gum graft. This will seal off sensitive areas of your teeth. If your sensitivity is being caused by issues within the tooth’s pulp, you may need a root canal.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity

  1. Hard-bristled toothbrushes and brushing the teeth too hard erodes tooth enamel, making it more likely that nerves will become exposed. When you brush your teeth, use gentle motions and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  2. Acidic foods and beverages increase pain and sensitivity. Try to stay away from citrus fruits, pickles, tomatoes and other similar items.
  3. Chronic grinding of the teeth at night can expose the dentin and grant irritants access to the nerve tissue of the tooth. A custom night guard can help prevent this issue.
  4. The ingredients found in your tooth-whitening toothpaste, mouthwash or other product could be causing your sensitivity. Change brands to address the problem.
  5. If your mouthwash contain alcohol, it may be causing problems with tooth sensitivity. Change to a mouthwash with neutral ingredients.
  6. A receded gumline from gum disease exposes roots and nerve tissue, causing sensitivity. A combination of dental sealants and gum inflammation treatments can address tooth and gum sensitivity.
  7. Dental procedures like root canals, tooth fillings or extractions can lead to temporary sensitivity. If the sensitivity doesn’t go away, you may have an infection. You should contact your dentist immediately if this is the case.
  8. If you have a tooth that is cracked or chipped, you need to have it treated right away. Leaving this issue untreated not only causes sensitivity, but it can also lead to severe pain.
  9. The edges of a tooth filling can fracture or leak, causing decay to break down the tooth’s enamel. A replacement filling will treat sensitivity caused by this problem.

On rare occasions, tooth sensitivity can be caused by a serious problem. Your dentist will be able to tell you what the exact cause of your sensitivity is. In most cases, your treatment plan will be as simple as having fluoride treatments and switching to a desensitizing toothpaste.

Treatments Available for Sensitive Teeth and Gums

  • Make sure that your dental health stays in great shape by seeing your dentist in Florida, Maryland and Virginia on a regular basis.
  • Have a consistent at-home dental care routine.
  • Brush with gentle motions. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Brush your teeth with toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.
  • Use fluoride mouthwashes.
  • Wear a night guard to prevent teeth grinding while you sleep.
  • Stay away from acidic items like tomatoes, lemons and oranges.

You need to know how to address your sensitive teeth. For instance, if your teeth are sensitive because you’ve been grinding your teeth, your dentist will prescribe a custom mouth guard for you to wear when you sleep. This prevents fracturing and erosion from occurring.

Avoiding the consumption of acidic items like carbonated beverages, acidic fruits and wine can also help. All of the above items contain ingredients that wear down enamel. If you do eat or drink these items, be sure to wait to brush your teeth. Brushing too soon afterwards will lead to even more erosion. To neutralize the impact of the acidic items you’ve consumed, you should drink water or milk right afterwards.

How to Ease Pain Caused by Tooth Sensitivity

Following the advice of a dental healthcare professional is always the best course of action when it comes to addressing sensitive teeth and gums. However, the below tips can assist you in developing a strategy for your tooth sensitivity:

  1. Discover Desensitizing Toothpaste – There are a variety of special toothpastes designed to stop sensitive teeth available on the market. They frequently work within just a few uses.
  2. Ask About Fluoride – You can have the enamel of your teeth strengthened by having fluoride treatments applied to sensitive spots on your teeth.
  3. Find the Remedy at the Roots – If your sensitivity is caused by receding gums, your dentist can graft gum tissue onto the tooth’s root to get rid of any pain you’ve been feeling.

Prevention is always the best course of action to take. To prevent sensitive teeth be sure that you practice excellent oral hygiene habits.

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What Our Patients Say About Us

“We absolutely love Dr Wilson! He works miracles with young children. I absolutely trust his judgement, his work is top-notch and know that he will treat my child as if it was his own and that means the world to me. He is a gem!”

– Kinley G.