Did you know the American Dental Association found that one in eight adults suffer from sensitive tooth pain? That’s the pain triggered by eating or drinking cold, hot, acidic or sweet foods or liquids.
There are a number of causes. As we mentioned last week, bruxism – clenching and grinding of teeth – can lead to sensitivity. So can overzealous brushing of your teeth. And some people notice sensitivity after whitening procedures.
The biggest cause of sensitivity, however, is gum recession. That’s when gum tissue is lost and exposes the surface of the root of the tooth. That leaves the nerve in the tooth more susceptible to pain triggers such as hot and cold.
What can one do to help ease the sensitivity? First be more gentle when you brush. And you may want to try a tooth past made to address the sensitivity problem. The key ingredient is potassium nitrate. It may take a few weeks to feel the helpful effects, but keep at it. Secondly, if you drink acidic foods or drink (fruit, orange juice, coffee), have a drink of water immediately afterward to rinse the majority of acid out of your mouth. Don’t brush immediately. Wait at least 10 or 15 minutes.
If you’re doing in-home whitening, take a break. They can alter the physical structure of your teeth and help increase sensitivity. Finally, consider a night guard to decrease the effect of clenching and grinding your teeth. That will also help decrease that effect on tooth sensitivity.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us, we’ll be glad to review sensitivity with you.