Sensitive teeth can be painful. Favorite foods and drinks can suddenly hurt to consume and even external temperature changes can leave you in pain.
This makes people desperate enough to change their diets, switch to a new toothpaste and make emergency trips to the dentist.
Dealing with sensitive teeth can start at home by following some simple oral hygiene practices. But before we take a look at the measures to deal with it, let’s find what we will learn from this post today.
- What is Sensitive Teeth?
- Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth
- Reasons responsible for sensitive teeth
- Home Remedies for sensitive teeth
- 5 tips on how to prevent sensitive teeth
- Other factors responsible for triggering sensitive teeth
What is Sensitive Teeth?
For the first time, a gulp of that delicious cold milkshake made you quiver with your jaw almost paralyzed with a sharp twitching pain – and many more similar experiences followed by whenever you consume very hot or very cold foods and beverages. That’s sensitive teeth and it can be very frustrating!
In simple words, erosion of the tooth enamel due to various factors gives birth to sensitive teeth.
Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth
People with sensitive teeth may experience discomfort or pain as a response to certain triggers usually at the roots of the affected teeth. Some of them include:
- Cold air
- Hot foods and beverages
- Brushing or flossing teeth
- Cold foods and beverages
- Acidic foods and beverages
- Sweet foods and beverages
- Alcohol-based mouth rinses
- Cold water, especially during routine dental cleanings
Your symptoms may come and go over time for no obvious reason. They may range from mild to intense.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
Sensitive teeth can leave you in agony. Below we have listed the most common triggers that are responsible for sensitive teeth.
One of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity is plaque buildup. If you don’t brush often or if you are brushing too lightly, you are leaving plaque on your teeth where it can slowly erode your enamel, leading to sensitivity.
Food For Thought: You can prevent plaque buildup by brushing every morning and evening for 2-3 minutes. Also, be sure to schedule and attend dental appointments every six months.
Brushing Too Hard
Some people brush often enough, but they are very aggressive with their brushing.
In addition to removing plaque, they also remove some of the defensive layers of the teeth in their zeal, leaving the tooth exposed and more sensitive.
Food For Thought: To avoid brushing too hard, use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush your teeth gently. Professional-grade electric toothbrushes are also very effective at removing plaque without letting you accidentally use too much force.
Using Harsh Dental Products
We all want to have a beautiful smile, but some of the teeth whitening products we use can be particularly harsh. Many of the whitening agents found in toothpastes and mouthwashes can aggravate your teeth and cause sensitivity.
Food For Thought: If you find that your teeth are sensitive when you are brushing them or using mouthwash, try switching to a different product without whitening chemicals.
For particularly stubborn sensitivity, consider switching to products for people with sensitive teeth.
Grinding Your Teeth
If you grind your teeth in your sleep, you may cause damage to your tooth enamel that results in nerve exposure.
Food For Thought: You will need to have these extremely sensitive nerves taken care of during dental cleanings at your dentist’s office, but you also need to address the root issue of grinding your teeth.
Treatment and Prevention of Sensitive Tooth
Sensitive teeth can happen to you anytime. That is why it is always wise to know a few home remedies.
Treatment: How is tooth sensitivity treated at Home?
If you experience mild tooth sensitivity, you can try simple over-the-counter dental treatments like:
- Choose a toothpaste that’s labeled to be used for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes usually have desensitizing ingredients that checks the discomfort from reaching the nerves of the tooth.
- Choose an alcohol-free mouth rinse. They are less irritating to sensitive teeth.
- Using soft bristled toothbrushes and practice brushing gently.
Please Note: It usually takes multiple applications, like using soft brush on a regular basis, using alcohol free mouthwash everyday and so on for these remedies to work. You can experience the improvements within a few days or a week.
If home treatments do not work, you can talk to your dentist about prescription mouthwash and toothpaste. They may also administer prescription-grade desensitizing agents or fluoride gel in-office that can strengthen the enamel and protect your teeth.
Preventive Measures: 5 tips on how to deal with sensitive teeth
Below, we have listed some preventive measures for avoiding tooth sensitivity. Since the reasons for developing sensitive tooth are many, consulting with your dentist will help in knowing the acute reasons for your trouble.
Cut down on sour food
The acid in certain food such as green mangoes and most citrus foods can destroy the protective covering of the teeth and suddenly you have hypersensitive teeth. If you cannot live without acidic foods, you may consider consuming them as a milkshake recipe or mash them into almost liquid form and use a straw.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
Brushing too hard using a toothbrush with hard bristles can damage your gums. Gum recession leaves your teeth more sensitive. To avoid this, you should brush gently and with just enough pressure to totally clean your mouth without harming your gums. Sometimes even brushing can trigger the pain. You can use toothpaste that is specially intended for sensitive teeth. This specialized toothpaste contains desensitizing agents that can render the tooth insensitive when exposed to foods that trigger the sensation.
Use Toothpaste with fluoride
Toothpaste with fluoride can aid in restoring and strengthening your damaged tooth enamel. Fluoride is best known for its action in protecting against dental cavities
Flossing regularly will remove trapped food particles that can cause dental cavities and unhealthy gums. You should floss gently and try not to harm your gums. Unhealthy gums can also lead to sensitive teeth.
Avoid harsh mouthwash
Avoid any mouthwash containing ingredients that are harsh to the teeth. Mouthwash with harsh ingredients can corrode your tooth enamel.
Avoid teeth grinding
Visit your dentist at the dental clinic if you suffer from teeth grinding. The enamel can wear away when you clench your teeth which usually happens when you’re asleep.
Stress is the most frequently cited cause for grinding one’s teeth, so dentists encourage patients who grind their teeth to try to eliminate stress from their lives and participate in relaxing activities in the hour before they go to bed.
In addition to lowering stress, your dentist may prescribe a mouth guard to wear at night to protect your teeth from the damage of grinding.
Other Factors Responsible For Triggering Sensitive Teeth
An exposed root, cracked tooth, damaged filling and even gum diseases should receive immediate dental treatment. They are not only causing you pain but they may also cause illness. You should also consult your dentist if a previous dental procedure such as tooth restoration or crown placement creates that distinctive painful sensation.
There are cases when discomfort from sensitive teeth is just temporary. But if the reasons are grave enough as to require professional help, an appointment with the dentist will prevent more serious problems in the future.
If you consider the tips on how to deal with sensitive teeth helpful, feel free to share it with your social peers, family and friends. Also, keep following this space as we keep on updating helpful content on dentistry on a periodic basis.