That painful sensation when drinking a cold or hot drink, or that strange pain when brushing your teeth are symptoms that you have sensitive teeth. The proper term for sensitive is dentin hypersensitivity. This is a condition, which can be very painful, which occurs when your inner layer of your tooth is exposed.
The problem does not stop there. If you have sensitive teeth, then there are great chances that you could have gum disease, cavities, fractured teeth, worn fillings, worn tooth enamels or even an exposed tooth root.
Besides bad dental health, or natural worn of old dental procedures, your choice to have super white teeth by having teeth whitening could also lead to your teeth becoming sensitive.
Do not stress, sensitive teeth are common. Around 57% of people will suffer from this problem.
When you go to for your bi-annual dental check-up, have a chat to your dentist. The solution might be easier than you think. Nevertheless, it would be good that they checkout your teeth to spot if you do not have any dental decay that needs to be addresses as soon as possible.
What solutions are there to treat sensitive teeth?
- Change your toothpaste
An easy way to deal with the problem of sensitivity is by using a desensitizing toothpaste. This might take several applications to be effective. These toothpastes work by blocks the pain and the nerves.
- Brush your teeth right
Even if you brush your teeth twice a day, the way you are brushing might be all wrong. This action could harm your teeth and the enamel. Brushing your teeth in a vigorous or harsh scrubbing manner will damage your teeth. Stop that, and brush gently. Use a soft-bristled brush and then gently work at a 45-degree angle to your gum line.
In addition, don’t brush your teeth jut after you indulged in acidic drinks and food as these foods soften your enamel, which makes them vulnerable for damage.
- You might need a mouth guard
If you are a grinder, especially if you are sleeping, you might be fracturing your teeth. This action can lead to sensitive teeth. A mouth guard could protect your teeth if you grind your teeth.
- Watch your diet
Acidic drinks and food, like citrus fruits, wine, yogurt or fizzy drinks, can remove small amounts of enamel off your teeth. Instead, drink water or milk, or snack on cheese, fruits and vegetables instead. These types of food and drink will moisten your mouth and help to fight acid and bacteria that damages your teeth.
It also helps to avoid brushing your teeth immediately after eating or drinking acidic substances, since acid softens enamel and makes it more vulnerable to erosion during brushing. So, wait at least an hour before you brush your teeth.
- Ease up on the bleaching
Each time you whiten your teeth you run the risk of have temporary sensitivity of your teeth. Although it might be temporary, doing it regularly can lead to permanent damage. Rather ease up about breaching your teeth and give them a break now and then.
- Strengthen your teeth
Your dentist can apply fluoride to the sensitive areas to strengthen the tooth enamel, which will less the pain. Alternatively, there are cocoa-based toothpaste that can strengthen your teeth if you do not want to use fluoride-based toothpaste.
- You might need dental bonding
It can be that because of receding gums that your roots are exposed. If you dentist can apply a bonding resin to the sensitive root areas. This should ease your pain.
- An alternative to bonding, surgical gum graft
You dentist can remove a piece of your gums and place it over the area where the gums have receded. This procedure should protect your visible roots and lessen sensitivity.
- A root canal could be your solution
In severe cases and if other treatments are not working, then your dentist might suggest a root canal. The dentist removes the dental pulp. It is a very successful treatment to solve the issue of sensitive teeth.
Prevention is the best
Ideally try as much as possible to prevent having sensitive teeth. Do this by brushing your teeth at least twice a day, in small circular movements with a soft brush. Do not brush your teeth side to side. You should also change your toothbrush every three months.
A healthy diet is also important. Stay away from food that will cause dental decay, like sugary foods.
Most importantly, do visit your dentist at least every six months for a proper dental examination and cleaning.