A lot of people suffer from sensitive teeth. There are a number of reasons why teeth are sensitive, but the main thing people want to know is “what can I do about it”?
First is make a dental appointment. Let your dentist (hopefully us) take a look and try to determine the cause. Depending on what is found, your dentist may recommend any of the following treatments:
- Desensitizing toothpaste. After several applications, desensitizing toothpaste can help block pain associated with sensitive teeth.
- Fluoride. Your dentist might apply fluoride to the sensitive areas of your teeth to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce pain.
- Covering exposed root surfaces. If receding gums are the cause of your sensitive teeth, your dentist might apply a sealant to cover the exposed tooth roots.
- Root canal. If your sensitive teeth cause severe pain and other treatments aren’t effective, your dentist might recommend a root canal — a procedure used to treat problems in the tooth’s soft core (dental pulp).
Remember, it is important to brush and floss on a regular basis, but what you don’t want to do is over do it. Twice a day is fine. But avoid vigorous or harsh scrubbing, highly abrasive toothpaste, and excessive brushing and flossing. If you grind your teeth, ask your dentist about a mouth guard. Tooth grinding (bruxism) can fracture teeth and cause sensitivity.
You might also consider limiting acidic foods and drinks, such as carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, wine and yogurt — all of which can remove tooth enamel. When you drink acidic liquids, use a straw to limit contact with your teeth. After eating or drinking an acidic substance, drink milk or water to balance the acid levels in your mouth. It also helps to avoid brushing your teeth immediately after eating or drinking acidic substances, since acid softens enamel and makes it more vulnerable to erosion during brushing.
If you have sensitive teeth, we’d be happy to see you and work on discovering and solving the problem. In the meantime, try some of those tips to help ameliorate the problem and feel free to give us a call.