Tooth sensitivity can interfere with your comfort when eating or drinking. Common triggers of this momentary, fleeting pain are items that are cold, hot, or exceptionally sweet. The following tips can help you overcome sensitivity while also ruling out more major dental concerns.
Tip #1: Rule Out Problems
Exposed dentin, which is the second layer of your teeth just beneath the enamel, is the main cause of tooth sensitivity. Age and genetics can play a part in thinning enamel, which leads to normal sensitivity issues. Other types of sensitivity can be caused by cavities or gum disease. Cavity-induced sensitivity often produces more than just momentary pain – typically the pain is throbbing and longer lasting. Gum disease can be another culprit, since it causes gums to recede and can reveal lower portions of the tooth with thinner enamel. This pain mimics regular sensitivity. It's vital that you schedule a dentist appointment to rule out these causes before attempting to treat the sensitivity.
Tip #2: Use the Right Toothpaste (and Brush)
Toothpastes formulated for sensitive teeth can really work, but you will need to use them regularly to reap the benefits. These toothpastes use potassium nitrate or a similar active ingredient that has the ability to block the pain receptors in your teeth. Brushing with these daily and using a soft or super-soft bristle brush is key. The toothpaste will slowly lower your sensitivity while the softer brush won't abrade or wear away your tooth enamel. There are also prescription level desensitizing toothpastes and treatments that your dentist can supply.
Tip #3: Wear a Night Guard
Grinding and clenching your teeth can also lead to more sensitivity, since this also wears down enamel. Once way to combat this is to invest in a night guard. One that is specially fitted is best because it is most comfortable. This will eliminate grinding, which will then prevent new sensitivities from forming.
Tip #4: Bypass Problem Areas
Generally the front teeth are most sensitive because they are most prone to thinning enamel due to their location and shape. Simple drinking cold beverages with a straw and using your molars to chew sweet or cold foods may prevent most pain from sensitivity. In extreme cases, your dentist may be able to place permanent veneers over the front teeth, which will put an added layer of material between your sensitive dentin and the trigger foods. Veneers can also lead to a whiter and more even smile.
For more information, contact a company like Art of Dentistry Institute.