Sensitive teeth aren’t fun for anyone to deal with. Whether you experience a mild pain when drinking hot tea or severe discomfort when eating ice cream, teeth sensitivity can impact your quality of life and prevent you from enjoying your favorite foods and drinks.
Sensitive teeth are typically the result of tooth enamel damage. Tooth enamel is the hard, shiny layer that protects your teeth. When enamel is worn away or weakened, it exposes the softer layer, dentin, underneath.
When foods or drinks—or even cold air—come into contact with these softer tissues, they can carry temperatures to the center of your tooth, where nerve tissue resides. That’s when you feel the pain, discomfort, or aching feeling people associate with sensitive teeth.
But is teeth sensitivity reversible? Here’s what you need to know.
Sensitive Teeth Can Be Treated, But May Not Be Able to Be Completely Reversed
The good news is that sensitive teeth can be treated, but the damage that caused the sensitivity in the first place may not be able to be completely reversed .
For example, tooth enamel damage can be the result of a cavity or gum disease. Once you treat these problems, your tooth sensitivity can improve. However, if your enamel is weakened from exposure to acidic foods and drinks over time, you may only be able to improve it to a certain point. Either way, your tooth sensitivity can be improved to help decrease your discomfort and make eating and drinking hot and cold foods enjoyable again!
What Treatments Are Available?
Depending on what’s causing your tooth sensitivity, you may have a few treatments available. These include desensitizing toothpaste (your dentist may recommend a specific type or brand to you), and fluoride treatments, which your dentist can administer in-office .
Although tooth enamel can’t be regrown, these treatments can help you protect your tooth enamel and strengthen your teeth to prevent future damage. Correcting any underlying conditions you may have, such as tooth decay and gum disease, can also help improve your sensitive teeth.
Your dentist may also suggest you make certain lifestyle changes, such as switching toothbrushes or chewing sugar-free gum to help remineralize tooth enamel.
You Can Prevent Sensitive Teeth!
You can prevent sensitive teeth by protecting your tooth enamel. You can do this by brushing your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush, avoiding dry mouth, always drinking water with acidic foods and drinks, and avoiding tobacco .
Visiting your dentist is also an important part of protecting your tooth enamel and preventing oral health conditions that can lead to sensitive teeth, such as tooth decay and gum disease. The best treatment for tooth sensitivity is preventing it in the first place!
Do you suffer from painful tooth sensitivity? Follow up with your dentist to see what you can do to begin improving your discomfort and begin enjoying the foods you love again!