A good oral health is more crucial than you might realize. In fact, it is a window to your overall health. According to many researchers, taking a good care of your teeth and gums not just prevents tooth decay and bad breath but also helps you ward off various medical disorders such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory infections, etc.
Unfortunately, in spite of so much oral health awareness around, dental problems are widespread.
In today’s post, we are going to shed light on a very common dental problem that is tooth sensitivity. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, alone in the United States, more than 45 million adults suffer from tooth sensitivity at some point in their life.
So, if you feel sudden tooth sensitivity sometimes, it is advisable, you get it diagnosed and go for the right sensitive teeth treatment.
This post speaks about what is tooth sensitivity, why does it happen and what are the treatments available to cure it? We hope you will find it useful. So, without any further delay, let’s get to the point.
What is Tooth Sensitivity?
When someone feels a sharp, stabbing tooth pain, especially when eating hot, cold and sour food items that could be the serious signs of tooth sensitivity. This pain could be occasional and in some cases constant.
Although tooth sensitivity may occur at any age, it is more common in people between the ages 25 and 50.
In the medical term, tooth sensitivity is known as root sensitivity or dentin hypersensitivity. If any hot, cold, sweet and acidic food makes your teeth painful, it means you have sensitive teeth. People with very sensitive teeth may also experience tooth sensitivity while breathing cold air.
How Long Does Tooth Sensitivity Last?
Tooth sensitivity may come and go. However, tooth sensitivity caused by a tooth filling may last up to 2 to 4 weeks.
What are The Symptoms of Tooth Sensitivity?
Not all dental sensations are tooth sensitivity. Your dentist can better tell you the exact cause of dental sensation. However, here are some common triggers for sensitive teeth.
Sensitive Teeth Triggers
- Breathing in cold air.
- Eating extremely sugary and sour foods.
- Taking cold beverages and foods.
- Brushing or flossing of teeth
Causes of Sensitive Teeth
Before you look for sensitive teeth remedy, it is important to know the causes of your sensitive teeth. Sensitivity usually occurs when the layer of your tooth beneath the enamel known as dentin or layer covering the root known as cementum is exposed. And when these exposed areas respond to foods that are too hot, cold, sweet and spicy, trigger pain.
Some other factors that may contribute to tooth sensitivities are:
Too Much Brushing
Brushing your teeth is important but not over brushing. If you do it over on a regular basis, there is a good possibility of tooth sensitivity. There is so many time concern by the parents that how there child brush and protects by the dental problems. Moreover, using a hard-bristled toothbrush and applying too much force when brushing may wear down your teeth’s protective layer called enamel and expose hollow tubes. And when these tubes come in contact with hot and cold foods it results in tooth sensitivity. There is so many time concern by the parents that how there child brush and protects by the cavity.
Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in our body, but if you’re a tooth grinder you may wear it down over the period. Seek the help of your dentist if you grind your teeth too much. He/she may suggest you to wear a mouth guard that can stop you from grinding.
Eating too Many Acidic Foods
If due to above reasons your nerves are exposed, eating acidic food such as lemon, pickles, tomato sauce, kiwi, etc. may increase the sensitivity considerably.
Many people experience tooth sensitivity after dental procedures such as root canal, crown placement, and extraction. Usually, tooth sensitivity disappears on its own after a short time but if it doesn’t, schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Sometimes, this is a chipped and cracked tooth causing tooth sensitivity. Your dentist can evaluate the severity and decide the best treatment for sensitive teeth accordingly.
Treatments for Sensitive Teeth
As we mentioned in the above section, there could be various underlying causes of your tooth sensitivity. And depending on your personal situation, your dentist might recommend the following tooth sensitive treatments for you.
Your dentist may choose to apply fluoride to the sensitive areas of your teeth. It will strengthen your enamel and dentin and ease the pain. Moreover, the dentist might suggest the use of prescription fluoride at home via a custom tray.
Use of Desensitizing Toothpaste
In some minor cases, your dentist may advise you to use desensitizing toothpaste to stop the sensitivity and pain. Since there are myriad of desensitizing toothpaste available in the market, don’t forget to ask your dentist which should work best for you.
Root Surface Covering
In some cases, root exposure is the main culprit for sensitive teeth. If you’re suffering from receding gums due to gum disease or growing age, your tooth roots may expose over the period, resulting in tooth sensitivity.
The bonding agent is considered a good solution to treat this situation. Dentists use a special kind of sealant to cover those areas where you feel pain (root areas that are exposed).
As we said above, bruxism or teeth grinding can also cause tooth sensitivity, people suffering from it may consider using a mouth guard to avoid it. Don’t forget to check the fit of your mouth guard.
For a perfect fit, your dentist will make a model of your teeth to create a mouth guard. Usually, you will wear it during the night so that you don’t put any pressure and cause damage to your teeth. A mouth guard can be highly effective at minimizing the pain caused by sensitive teeth.
Root Canal Treatment
When the above-mentioned treatments are not effective to heal or ease the pain caused by tooth sensitivity. And your teeth are leading to other health problems, your dentist may suggest you undergo root canal treatment. A root canal will treat the problem of dental pulp and compensate for sensitive teeth.
Ways to Soothe Sensitive Teeth
Tooth sensitivity is not fun. Anyone who is experiencing it can tell you how much painful and annoying it is. Before you see your dentist, you may try the following ways to soothe your sensitive teeth pain. See which of the following sensitive teeth remedies work for you.
Salt Water Rinse
Salt is known to have antiseptic properties that reduce inflammation. Salt water rinse will help in reducing tooth pain from sensitive teeth. Add ½ tsp of salt to a glass of lukewarm water and swish it in your mouth for up to 30 seconds and then spit out.
These kinds of toothpaste include elements that provide a shield to exposed nerves. One of the most active ingredients in a desensitizing toothpaste is potassium nitrate, which blocks pain signals traveling to your brain.
Essential oils like clove oil and tea tree oil can provide you relieve in the pain. Apply these oils gently on affected gums and tooth. Leave it for 8 to 10 minutes before rinsing with water.
Tips to Prevent Tooth Sensitivity
You must have heard that ‘prevention is better than cure’. So, we are disclosing a few ways that will help you avoid tooth sensitivity. Follow these tips from an early age and prevent this painful tooth disorder.
Use a Soft-bristled Toothbrush
Probably, you are not aware of but the toothbrush you choose play a vital role in preventing tooth sensitivity. A brush having soft bristles will always help you preventing premature erosion of gums and tooth enamel that is the major cause for tooth sensitivity in most of the cases.
Along with choosing a soft-bristled toothbrush, you should brush your teeth gently. Brushing too vigorously may wear off your teeth enamel over the period. Moreover, it may also cause gum erosion.
Use Products With Fluoride
Most dentists recommend using a good fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. Fluoride is a mineral that has positive effects on your dental health, usually known to strengthen the tooth enamel.
Don’t Grind Your Teeth
As we said above, grinding (Bruxism) may have a bad effect on the health of your tooth enamel. If you have teeth grinding problem, visit your dentist, who may suggest you wear a mouth guard that will prevent your teeth from grinding while you sleep.
Never be shy to visit your dentist for dental care. In fact, it should be your goal to take good care of your teeth, gums and overall mouth.
If you are ignoring hot and cold beverages just because they hurt your teeth, don’t let it pass. Talk to your dentist about the possibility of you having sensitive teeth so that you get better treatment and avoid further damage to your teeth.