Anyone who has experienced tooth sensitivity knows the pain and discomfort it can cause. Furthermore, it can lead to other issues with dental care and overall oral health. The key to resolving this problem is to look at underlying tooth sensitivity causes and to discuss possible solutions with your own dental provider.
So, what is tooth sensitivity, and can it be avoided?
The short answer is ‘yes,’ you can avoid sensitivity in many cases, but there are factors at play that could predispose you to have sensitive teeth. Here is what you should know:
What is tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity can affect all your teeth or a single tooth. Typically, tooth sensitivity indicates an issue with the enamel that protects the teeth Damage and wear can make the tooth sensitive by compromising the enamel and exposing dentine inside the tooth.
What triggers tooth sensitivity?
- Hot or cold food and drink.
- Inhaling cool air.
- Flossing or brushing teeth.
- Certain kinds of mouthwashes or mouth rinses.
It is important to note that tooth sensitivity may be periodic, coming and going at will. The goal should be to reduce the incidence while also relieving the severity of tooth sensitivity.
What makes a tooth sensitive?
How do teeth become sensitive in the first place? Sometimes, you are simply born predisposed to sensitive teeth. Some other factors that contribute to sensitivity include:
- Plaque and tooth decay.
- Tooth erosion, often caused by acidic diets or acid reflux issues.
- Cracks, gaps, or chips in teeth.
- Receding gums.
- Gum disease.
- Teeth grinding.
- Damage to dental work.
- After-effect of bleaching or teeth whitening.
Depending on the factors that cause your sensitivity, your dental provider will assess the best treatment approach for you.
How do you treat sensitive teeth?
When the dentist is assessing your teeth, they will likely order x-rays. Some of the possible treatment options for tooth sensitivity include these:
- Changes in oral care habits.
- Frequent dental visits.
- Crowns, fillings, or other dental procedure.
- Root canals.
- Surgery or gum grafting.
If you grind your teeth and this is contributing to your tooth sensitivity, your dentist may prescribe that you wear mouth guards when sleeping, for Bruxism.
How do you prevent sensitive teeth?
The best way to treat sensitive teeth is to aim to prevent any damage to the enamel. Taking care of your teeth may be key in preventing tooth sensitivity later on.
Some things you can do to protect your tooth enamel include:
- Brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Cut down on acidic foods and drinks, including citrus and carbonated drinks.
- Take a calcium supplement.
- Protect your teeth from trauma during sports or activities by wearing a mouthguard.
- See your dentist at least once a year, ideally, every six months.
- Cut down on sugar to prevent decay, which can also help prevent sensitivity issues.
Are your teeth sensitive? Alleviate discomfort and find a solution to tooth sensitivity with a visit to your dental provider. Schedule an appointment for an exam at Old Mt Pleasant Dentistry, in Mt Pleasant, SC, today!