Having 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.