Tooth sensitivity, while a seemingly small annoyance, can be indicative of greater issues with your oral health. You shouldn’t have to live with this relentless pain. Vellore Woods Dentistry recognizes the difficulty that sensitive teeth can cause. Here, we’ll provide you with all you need to know about sensitive teeth and how to treat them.
What Exactly is Tooth Sensitivity?
Sensitive teeth isn’t just biting directly into a scoop of ice cream and feeling sharp coldness. It’s a little more than that.
Though difficult to pinpoint exactly, a common symptom of sensitive teeth is a sudden and painful sensation when teeth are exposed to hot, cold, or acidic foods. In extreme cases, these painful sensations may be caused by cold air.
Who’s Susceptible to Tooth Sensitivity?
Anyone from young children to the elderly population can experience this uncomfortable condition. There are no specific groups at risk, so everyone should be aware of this problem and how to treat it.
What Causes It?
To understand how to treat this condition, you should be aware of what can cause it. Sensitive teeth are often caused by:
- Brushing too hard. Excessive pressure while brushing can wear down tooth enamel, encourage gum recession, or cause dentin to become exposed. All of these occurrences lead to sensitive teeth. The use of a hard-bristled toothbrush can also produce these results.
- Gum recession. Some people may be genetically susceptible to gum recession. This condition causes sensitive teeth.
- Gingivitis. Gingivitis is caused by poor oral hygiene. It results in inflamed gums, which can make your teeth more fragile than normal.
- Cracked teeth. Cracked teeth due to sports’ injuries or hard food can reduce your teeth’s toughness.
- Improper mouthwash use. Despite mouthwash’s benefits, too much of it can cause severe damage. Mouthwash’s acidic components can make further weaken any exposed dentin in your mouth.
- Dental procedures. Dental procedures may make your teeth susceptible to feeling. This sensitivity is often temporary and goes away within a month after treatment. For example, fillings and whitening treatments can both contribute to increased tooth sensitivity.
How Do I Treat Sensitive Teeth at Home?
If your sensitive teeth are bothering you, you can take steps at home to reduce your pain. These steps don’t involve any special tools or techniques. Some require purchases from your local pharmacy, while others require lifestyle changes. All of the following at-home tips allow you to reduce tooth sensitivity easily.
Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
Some people believe that a hard-bristled brush does a better job at achieving a deeper clean. However, there’s a reason that these types of brushes are becoming harder to find on the market. They have been known to do more harm than good when it comes to brushing. They cause decay of the tooth enamel and gum recession over time.
That’s why we recommend getting a soft-bristled brush. These brushes effectively reach every corner of your mouth without causing long-term damage. With one, you’ll experience less gum irritation and tooth abrasion.
Even if you’re equipped with a soft-bristled brush, be sure to brush gently around the gum line. Failing to do so can cause damage to the gum tissue, which can amplify tooth sensitivity.
Perform Mouth Rinses
There are a variety of mouth rinses you can try.
Consider the following:
- Saltwater rinse. Add half a teaspoon to a glass of water. Mix well and rinse the solution in your mouth for half a minute to reduce gum inflammation that may be causing tooth sensitivity.
- Honey and warm water. Honey has antibacterial properties that effectively eliminate bacteria and reduce inflammation. Rinse your mouth with a spoonful of honey and warm water for relief.
- Hydrogen peroxide. 3 percent hydrogen peroxide is a great disinfectant. Combine two capfuls of this substance with equal parts water. Rinse your mouth with the solution for 30 seconds. Then, rinse your mouth with plain water to remove any leftover hydrogen peroxide.
Be Mindful of What You Eat
Acidic foods and beverages, like citrus fruits, sodas, and tomatoes, can all weaken the enamel and contribute to tooth sensitivity. Try to avoid these in addition to:
- Hard candies
- Sticky foods
- Hot coffee
- Ice cream
These foods can be eaten in moderation. Don’t eat distractedly. If you eat while watching TV or doing homework, you may be more likely to damage your teeth and increase their sensitivity.
Reduce Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding can weaken tooth enamel. You may do it at night when you don’t even realize it. This problem can be fixed by wearing a nightguard, which can be purchased over the counter. If you prefer to get one fitted by your dentist, that option is available to you as well.
When is Professional Help Required?
Sometimes, more direct intervention is required to reduce tooth pain and sensitivity. Learn about some of your options below.
This is a less invasive solution. Your dentist will apply this substance to your tooth enamel. It works to reduce pain and strengthen the enamel. Sometimes, they may prescribe at-home fluoride treatment. This treatment involves the application of a custom tray.
Surgical Gum Graft
This procedure involves taking healthy gum tissue from one part of your mouth and applying it to a tooth root with lost gum tissue. This reduces sensitivity by protecting exposed roots.
If you have an exposed root surface, it can be treated by applying a bonding resin. A local anesthetic might be needed to reduce feeling throughout the treatment.
This is the most drastic professional intervention. It’s used to treat issues in the tooth’s dental pulp. It’s very effective in reducing extreme pain.
If you suffer from sensitive teeth, know that you are not alone. As many as 1 in 8 people experience this condition but don’t bring it up with their dentist. Don’t be afraid to discuss it at your next dental visit. In the meantime, use this guide to reduce your tooth sensitivity.