If you’ve experienced the feeling of a sensitive tooth, you know how painful it can be. Imagine having extreme tooth sensitivity all the time throughout your mouth! Cold and hot foods can cause intense pain in people who have very sensitive teeth. But what can you do to help your tooth sensitivity? There are things your dentist can do as well as you can do at home to help alleviate this painful experience whenever something hot or cold is introduced to the mouth.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
First, it’s important to know the factors that influence sensitive teeth. When your enamel wears away, it exposes dentin, a tissue beneath the enamel that protects the roots. It’s not as hard as enamel, but not as soft and exposed as your roots. However, the exposure of dentin can lead to tooth sensitivity. The more worn away your enamel is, the more extreme your tooth pain will be.
The enamel on your teeth can wear away due to brushing too hard (which is actually very damaging to your teeth) or eating too many foods that are acidic or drinking sugary and corrosive drinks (such as alcohol and soda). It could also be influenced by other factors, such as using at-home teeth bleaching kits too often, which strips the enamel away, or tooth decay.
What Your Dentist Can Do
Pain is among one of the many ways that your body communicates. Your extremely sensitive teeth are telling you that something is amiss with your pearly whites. Your dentist can thoroughly examine your teeth and identify any problems. Sometimes, if tooth decay or gum disease has progressed, it can cause your gums to recede or your enamel to wear away due to decay, therefore exposing your dentin and possibly even your tooth’s root. Your dentist can treat the problem, which will be unique to your particular diagnosis. You could need a root canal, a missing filling replaced, or need x-rays to further determine the problem.
What You Can Do
Prevention is the best treatment for extreme tooth sensitivity, so it’s important to remember that once you’ve lost your enamel, it cannot be replaced. Limit sugary drinks like sodas juices and corrosive drinks like alcohol, especially if you already have sensitive teeth, as these can make the pain worse. Don’t brush too hard, and remember, it’s always safest to get teeth whitening done professionally by your dentist.
If you already have extremely sensitive teeth, there are a few things you can do at home to help. You may consider trying toothpaste that’s marketed for sensitive teeth. This toothpaste contains agents like potassium nitrate that are safe for your teeth sensitivity and can help relieve pain. It’s also good to avoid teeth grinding, as this can cause—and worsen—sensitivity. Talk with your dentist if you think you’re a grinder!
Extreme tooth sensitivity can be a burden. Hot and cold foods are forbidden, and oftentimes even things like cold air can make your teeth hurt. There is relief from your pain! Begin by visiting your dentist to uncover the problem, and then follow through with your care at home. Extreme tooth sensitivity doesn’t have to be for life!