Sensitive Teeth: Causes, Prevention, Treatment
Do you suffer from chronically sensitive teeth? Do you want to be able to eat and drink the things you love without pain? Are you concerned that your sensitive teeth may be a sign of something far more serious? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’re not alone and you’re definitely not out of luck! Sensitive teeth can put a severe damper on your life. Your food and drink choices may be restricted or you may live in constant pain. Getting rid of your tooth sensitivity begins with a visit to your local dental professional. The Dental industry has come so far in the last few years in determining the cause of your sensitive teeth, helping you prevent future sensitivity, and treating the problem effectively. From toothpaste to in-office dental care, your local dental professional can help you get rid of your sensitive teeth and get more out of life! Here is an in-depth look into how you can determine the cause of your sensitive teeth, how you can prevent sensitive teeth in the future, and how your local dental professional can treat your tooth sensitivity.
What is causing your sensitive teeth?
The inside of your mouth mostly consists of a material called dentin. Dentin contains microscopic tubules that contain nerve endings. The hard outer layer of your teeth, known as enamel, protects the dentin located in the crown portion of your teeth. A layer of cementum protects the dentin that expands down to the tooth root. Dentin hypersensitivity or nerve irritation occurs when the dentin loses its protective layer of enamel or cementum, exposing it to hot, cold, acidic, or sticky foods. Causes of sensitive teeth include: worn tooth enamel resulting from hard brushing or the wrong toothbrush, tooth erosion as a result of acidic food and drink, tooth decay, worn fillings, or broken teeth that expose the dentin of your tooth, gum recession that has left your tooth root exposed, bruxism (grinding of teeth), and post dental treatment sensitivity.
How can you prevent sensitive teeth?
Preventing sensitive teeth is easier than you might think. First, identify the food and drink you are ingesting that may be too acidic. Try to limit these or cut them out completely. Second, find a soft-bristled toothbrush and learn proper brushing technique. If you are unsure of proper brushing technique, consult your local dentist for some tips! Lastly, make regular visits to your dentist for check-ups and to have any loose fillings or broken teeth repaired.
How can your dentist help you relieve your tooth sensitivity?
Depending on your individual situation, your dentist may suggest that you try some desensitizing toothpaste to block sensation travelling down to the root surface. If the desensitizing paste doesn’t work, he or she may then suggest various in-office treatments. One of these treatments commonly used to fight tooth sensitivity is a special fluoride gel or professional-grade desensitizing agent. The type of treatment depends on the cause of your sensitivity. Lastly, in the case that your gums have receded, your dentist may recommend a gum graft to cover the tooth root. If you are struggling with your tooth sensitivity and want to get back to enjoying life, consult your local dentist!