What Can You Do About Tooth Sensitivity?

What Can You Do About Tooth Sensitivity?

Mar 01, 2023

Teeth sensitivity can prevent you from enjoying your favorite foods and beverages. Teeth sensitivity often happens when the enamel (tooth’s toughest outer surface) is eroded or damaged, exposing the underlying structures like the dentin and pulp.

The dentin is the second soft layer of the tooth that contains tiny tubules that lead to the pulp (the tooth’s inner chamber that hosts the tooth’s blood tissues, nerves, and other tissues). When exposed, these tubules allow stimuli for hot, cold, and sugary items to reach the tooth’s nerve, resulting in pain. Visit our dental clinic in Longmont for dental sensitivity treatment.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

As we’ve seen, teeth sensitivity often happens when the tooth’s enamel is compromised. Activities that can lead to enamel erosion and teeth sensitivity include:

  • Brushing too hard: While brushing vigorously or using a hard-bristled toothbrush might feel like a great way to keep your teeth clean, it’s harmful. Over time, it will wear down your enamel, causing tooth sensitivity and an increased risk of fractures and tooth decay. It can also irritate your gums, causing inflammation and recession.
  • Gum recession: Gum recession happens when tissues pull away from the teeth. Gum disease is the leading cause of gum recession. However, it also results from hereditary factors. It exposes your teeth roots, causing tooth pain and sensitivity.
  • Cracked, chipped, or broken teeth: Teeth damage like chips, cracks, and breaks damage your enamel, exposing the dentin and nerves and causing inflammation and sensitivity. Visit our dental office near you if you’re tooth is damaged.
  • Teeth grinding: Regular and chronic teeth grinding or clenching can wear down the enamel, exposing the underlying dentin and causing sensitivity.
  • Abrasive dental products: Dental products like teeth whitening toothpaste can wear down the enamel if used regularly, causing sensitive teeth.
  • Poor oral hygiene: Inadequate brushing and flossing can encourage bacterial and plaque buildup in the mouth, which erodes your teeth’ enamel, causing sensitivity and decay.
  • Acidic foods and beverages. Regular consumption of foods and beverages such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, and lemons demineralize your teeth’ enamel, causing sensitivity and other dental problems.
  • Recent dental treatments. Some dental treatments like veneers, teeth whitening, crowns, fillings, and cleaning can cause temporary sensitivity.

How to Prevent or Stop Teeth Sensitivity

In most cases, teeth sensitivity is preventable and treatable. Use the tips below to stop or reduce your risk of enamel erosion and teeth sensitivity:

    • Maintain good oral hygiene.

Brushing twice daily for about two minutes and flossing at least once helps remove debris and bacteria from the mouth, preventing a buildup of plaque and tartar. If left untreated, these deposits release toxic acids that erode your teeth to cause sensitivity and other dental problems. When brushing, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and make gentle movements to clean all the surfaces of your teeth.

    • Use desensitizing toothpaste and mouthwash.

Desensitizing toothpaste contains fluoride, potassium, and strontium salts that help minimize teeth sensitivity. For instance, potassium nitrate decreases fluid flow through the tooth tubule, decreasing the transmission of sensation between the tooth and nerves.

On the other hand, fluoride helps to restore lost minerals in teeth, creating an effective barrier against sensitivity. Fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash is an excellent option to reduce and prevent sensitivity.

    • Avoid acidic foods and beverages.

While healthy, regular consumption of highly acidic items like lemons, apple cider vinegar, and tomatoes can wear down your enamel, leaving your teeth vulnerable to sensitivity, tooth decay, and fractures.

Taking these items with non-acidic foods and drinks can help lower the acidity and protect your teeth. Always wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth after taking acidic items. Since acids weaken your enamel, brushing too soon can erode your tooth more.

    • Avoid abrasive oral products.

Regular use of abrasive or bleaching dental products erodes your teeth, making them more sensitive to fractures and decay. Consult your dentist about the best oral products for a cleaner and healthier mouth.

    • Schedule routine dental checkups.

Routine dental exams can help keep your teeth clean and disease free. Your dentist can also provide preventive treatments like dental sealants and fluoride treatments.

    • Get a custom mouthguard.

Wearing a night guard can help minimize teeth damage and other symptoms if you grind your teeth during sleep. Consult your dentist about a custom mouthguard.

    • Dental treatments

You may need dental treatments to prevent sensitivity if there’s significant damage to your tooth, such as decay, chips, and cracks. These treatments can include:

  • Dental fillings
  • Dental Onlays and inlays
  • Dental veneers and bonding
  • Dental crowns
  • Root canal treatment
  • Tooth extractions

Do You Have Sensitive Teeth?

If you’re experiencing sensitive teeth, it’s essential to seek treatment right away to eliminate your discomfort and prevent further damage. For more information about dental sensitivity and treatment, contact Mertz Family Dentistry to book your appointment with our dentist in Longmont, Colorado.

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