What Can I Do About My Sensitive Teeth?
January 31, 2017
Categories: General Dentistry
If you’ve never had a sensitive tooth, it might sound like just a minor inconvenience. But sensitive teeth can be a constant irritation, and keep you from enjoying many of your favorite foods and beverages.
Sensitive teeth can make you think twice about food and drink that’s particularly hot or cold, or that comes with a bit of a crunch to it. Merion Village Dental offers a number of solutions to deal with sensitive teeth, and there are several steps you can take at home to soothe the pain.
Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?
Sensitive teeth can be caused by several different issues, including worn fillings, exposed roots, receding gums due to periodontal disease, tooth decay, or damage to a tooth. In addition to these causes, sensitive teeth can be the result of improper or infrequent brushing and teeth grinding, or bruxism.
According to the American Dental Association, teeth can become highly sensitive when the layer of enamel on your teeth’s crowns becomes thin or breached. The dentin beneath the enamel is porous, and when exposed, the nerves inside a tooth can be stimulated by very hot or cold substances, or acidic food and drink.
How to Soothe Sensitive Teeth at Home
Although a dentist visit is likely necessary, there are a few ways to immediately ease discomfort that you can try at home.
If you haven’t already, replace your toothbrush with a new one. The ADA recommends that toothbrushes be replaced every three to four months, or once bristles start to fray. Over time, toothbrush bristles can lose their softness, and the additional hardness can irritate already sensitive teeth and gums.
For those who grind their teeth while awake or asleep, wearing a mouth guard can protect tooth wear. A mouth guard provides a soft barrier between grinding surfaces, and can be obtained from either your dentist or most drug stores.
Avoiding highly acidic food and drink is also important, as acids help break down enamel more quickly. You may miss some of your favorite beverages in the short term, but this can alleviate pain until you can make your visit to the dentist office.
When Should I Contact My Dentist?
Teeth sensitivity is one of the many reasons scheduling a regular dentist appointment is important. Along with cleaning your teeth, your dentist can identify the early signs of enamel wearing down and help you take steps to protect it.
If you’re experiencing significant or prolonged sensitivity, it’s time to call your dentist right away.
How Merion Village Dental Can Help
Our dentists and staff can take several approaches to alleviating your tooth sensitivity, from restoring worn enamel, to strengthening sensitive teeth. Our most common sensitive teeth treatments include Fluoride, Gluma and Prevident.
We often apply a product called Gluma for routine corrections, which is a desensitizing gel designed to protect teeth from everyday exposure to food and drink. The gel limits the risk of bacteria entering the tooth by sealing off the tooth’s pores, and can also prevent sensitivity following a dental procedure.
To help restore enamel, we also offer a prescription-strength fluoridated toothpaste called Prevident, which is more effective than over-the-counter toothpastes and helps restore lost minerals to the surface of the teeth.
Sensitive teeth can be a constant irritation, but they can also be easily addressed. To schedule your next appointment, contact our office at 614-443-4400 or through our online form.
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