6 Solutions for Sensitive Teeth
Do you find yourself turning down hot chocolate or ice cream because you know they will make your teeth hurt? Even sweet or sour food and cold air can bother extra sensitive teeth. Once you understand the cause, you can begin treating those unpleasant tooth twinges.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
Your teeth might be bothering you if you have any of the following:
- Worn enamel: If this hard outer layer wears away, nerve endings in the dentin become exposed, causing the pain associated with sensitive teeth.
- Receding gums: Enamel doesn’t extend below the gum line. If your gums recede, the dentin here is left unprotected. This could cause pain when you eat or drink things like hot soup or ice-cold water.
- Cracked tooth: If the crack extends down to the root, you will experience pain when your tooth gets cold.
Preventing Sensitive Teeth
If you hope to avoid painful, sensitive teeth, you must protect your enamel and gums. Here’s how:
- Brush gently: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and be careful not to brush too hard. Your goal might be to remove food particles and stains as effectively as possible, but hard brushing can damage your enamel and irritate your gums.
- Avoid acidic food and drinks: A diet high in acid and sugar leads to sensitive teeth and cavities. Snack on fruits, vegetables, and dairy products to strengthen your enamel.
- Avoid certain types of mouthwash: If your teeth hurt when you rinse with mouthwash, acids could be irritating your exposed dentin. Look into using a neutral fluoride mouthwash for the best results.
Treatments for Sensitive Teeth
If your enamel is damaged and your gums are receding, it might be too late to prevent tooth sensitivity. Luckily, there are ways to treat and reverse this condition. Here are six solutions for sensitive teeth:
- Desensitizing toothpaste: Your dentist may recommend a particular brand, or you can try out a few on your own to narrow down what works best for you.
- Fluoride gel: This product soothes gums, strengthens teeth, fights cavities, and helps reduce tooth sensitivity.
- Sealants: Dental sealants placed over the exposed root surface can be an effective solution for sensitive teeth.
- Fillings over exposed roots: By covering sensitive dentin located below the gum line, the area becomes desensitized and no longer hurts when exposed to hot and cold temperatures.
- Surgical gum grafts: This is another option for protecting a sensitive tooth root. If there is no decay, a gum graft may be sufficient. Otherwise, both a filling and a gum graft may be required.
- Mouthguard: If you grind your teeth when you sleep, a mouthguard may benefit you. This prevents tooth enamel from wearing away, making other treatments for sensitive teeth more effective.
If you suffer from sensitive teeth, contact Glenwood Premier Dental at (732) 264-4477 to speak with our Hazlet dentist about your concerns. We can recommend treatments and deliver the restorative dentistry you need to eliminate tooth sensitivity.