Tooth sensitivity is simply a discomfort in one or more teeth, which can be mild to severe. Though as many people experience, a high degree of teeth sensitivity can lead to significant discomfort in eveyday tasks involving eating and drinking. Sensivity is often triggered firsthand when you eat or drink things that are hot or cold. Sweet foods can also cause a sensation in the teeth. The pain can be dull, or it can be a sudden shooting sense of pain, generated by more exposure of the nerve endings of the teeth.
One of the things that causes sensitivity in the teeth is enamel erosion. Erosion is often caused and exacerbated by a lack of proper dental care at home or from not getting regular check ups and deep cleanings from a dentist. When the dentin is exposed, the gum tissue erodes, leading to the nerves being unprotected. The tubules in the teeth allow the hot or cold items to enter the nerves of the teeth.
[media-credit id=12 align=”alignleft” width=”350″][/media-credit]While this may seem intuitive to most people, it is important to reinforce that the most important thing to do to decreaseteeth sensitivity is to brush properly and floss. Clean all of the parts of the mouth, floss in areas your brush doesn’t reach and use a fluoride mouth rinse with an antiseptic. Don’t use a brush that has excessively hard bristles, as they can wear away the enamel and irritate the gums. Gently brush the teeth instead of quickly going over them. Many toothpaste companies are coming out with products for sensitive teeth as well. If you use these products on a regular basis, then you should start to see a difference. Rub a small amount of toothpaste on the tooth that is sensitive, and let it sit on the area overnight.
From a dietary standpoint, avoid foods that are high in acid content. These can eat away at the enamel which will lead to sensitivity, especially on the front teeth. These foods can also make the sensitivity worse if it is already present. Try not to grind your teeth, as this over time can chip the teeth, exposing the nerves. If you grind your teeth while sleeping, a properly fitted dental mouth guard can be worn at night to help.
If you already see the enamel of your teeth starting to go away, there are a few things you can do to slow the process. Visit your dentist on a regular basis. Drink milk and consume foods that are high in calcium. This can strengthen the teeth. Don’t swish acidic drinks in the mouth such as soda. Doing this will only get the acid on all of the teeth, making it harder to get off the surfaces.
Tooth sensitivity can lead to signifcant discomfort over time if the causes aren’t identified and proper oral care isn’t maintained. We’ve outlined steps here you can take yourself, but they are not a substitute for regular cleanings and exams with your dentist.