Monthly Archives: May 2016

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive And How Can I Get Relief?

Woman brushing her teethHaving sensitive teeth can be a real bummer, especially when it comes between you and your favorite bowl of soup or ice cream. It also doesn’t help that it’s exacerbated by a number of things – from eating to brushing – helping it go from minor annoyance to a big problem real quick.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity occurs when the enamel that protects your teeth has gotten thinner, or it may probably be also because of gum recession. In both cases, almost the same thing happens, which is that the dentin, or the underlying surface, has become exposed and your enamel, as well as gums, are no longer able to provide the necessary protection to your tooth and root.

Tooth sensitivity can be triggered by a lot of things, most usually by eating hot or cold foods, and may be caused by:

  • Periodontal / Gum Disease
  • Brushing teeth too aggressively, or using a hard-bristled toothbrush
  • Wearing away of the enamel, which is basically what protects the nerves in your teeth.
  • Exposure of the roots at the gum line, as well as tooth decay

If you feel that your tooth sensitivity is because of tooth decay, disease or infection, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dental professional immediately. However, if it’s caused by your habits, or if your enamel wears down more easily compared to that of other people (a sign that you inherited it from someone in your family), it is possible that you can treat sensitivity at home.

You can start by making a couple of changes to your daily routine, such as doing the following:

  • Switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush. Of course, brushing teeth is the best way to keep it strong, healthy and sparkly. Although, using a hard-bristled toothbrush and brushing too aggressively may be counterintuitive. The same goes if you use an abrasive toothpaste, which can easily aggravate sensitive teeth. Do yourself a favor and switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush. You may also want to change the way you brush your teeth and start doing it more gently from now on.
  • Avoiding certain types of food and beverages. Coffee, citrus fruits, carbonated drinks, and even yogurt, all of these can cause pain and tooth sensitivity. This is because these products are acidic and can slowly wear away at your already worn-out tooth enamel. If possible, avoid all such products from now on. Although if you must drink or eat such acidic foods or beverages, be sure to drink a glass of milk right after and brush your teeth after fifteen minutes or so.
  • Start wearing a night guard. If you have sensitive teeth, chances are that you grind your teeth at night while you sleep. This is because the constant grinding of your teeth wears away at the enamel, making your tooth feel sore and sensitive tomorrow. It may be good for you to start wearing a night guard right away, preferably a custom-made one to ensure a comfortable fit while you sleep. By wearing a night guard, your teeth and the enamel are protected from the constant grinding while you sleep.

Of course, you can also buy a desensitizing toothpaste or go to the dentist to have your teeth and gums checked and treated. Although what’s really important is that you start taking better care of your teeth from now on, as this may not only take care of the pain that comes with tooth sensitivity, but also makes sure that you always have healthy gums and teeth.

If you have sensitive teeth and are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

Essential Night Guard Care Tips

Custom Mouth GuardBruxism, or night time teeth grinding is a very common habit that can also be very destructive to your teeth and gums. Although it’s a good thing that night guards are there to help, as these custom-made oral appliances can help teeth from getting damaged or chipped from the constant grinding.

While helpful, night guards need proper care and attention to make sure that you don’t just end up trading one dental problem for another.

Here are some essential night guard care tips that should come in handy:

  1. Brush your night guard. Whenever you take out your night guard in the morning, brush it as you would your teeth. Preferably, use a different, soft toothbrush and a liquid antibacterial soap. Although, if you want to keep things safe, you can ask your dentist to recommend you a soaking solution. Also, if you do decide to wash the appliance, use warm water and be sure to dry it thoroughly before storing it in its respective case. Using hot water is not advisable because it can ruin the appliance.
  1. Use the case and keep it clean. You should always clean the storage case for your mouth guard as well. Use liquid antibacterial soap and feel free to use hot water this time around, as it won’t ruin the case in any way. Also, be sure to actually use the case and store it in a place far from dust and other contaminants.
  1. Take care of your teeth. Before you even think about putting your night guard in your mouth, make sure that you have brushed and floss first. If not, you’ll only transfer the bacteria from your mouth to your night guard and allow them to grow through the night while you’re wearing it.
  1. Have your night guard checked and cleaned along with your teeth and gums. Every time you visit your dentist for regular exams and cleanings, be sure that you have your night guard with you. This is so that the dentist can examine it for wear and tear, as well as clean it. Also, if you notice any damage, make sure that you go to your dentist immediately and ask for proper advice. Although very durable, these oral appliances are not invincible and will need to be pleased eventually.

NOTE: For a better-fitting mouth guard, experts recommend a custom-made night guard. Unlike other types of mouth guards, these night guards are made specifically to fit in your own mouth. This ensures proper fit and comfort throughout the night while you sleep. To know more about custom-made night guard, be sure to ask your dentist about it.

Making sure that your mouth guard lasts for a long time and does not cause any damage to your gums and teeth is no easy work. It’s like having another set of teeth to take care of. But hey, the extra care and maintenance is far better than the possible damage resulting from the constant grinding of your teeth while you sleep.

Besides, by taking proper care of your mouth and night guard, you free yourself of any worries of infections resulting from the night guard, as well as any contamination, odor or discoloration.

If you feel that you would benefit from a custom night guard, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information regarding night guards.