Are you suffering from sensitive teeth? If you have ever experienced tooth sensitivity, you know it is far from fun. In fact, having sensitive teeth can be downright painful. Hot or cold food and drinks, sugary snacks, or even just very cold air can cause a sharp pain in your teeth. But what exactly causes us to have sensitive teeth? And what can you do to reduce the pain associated with sensitive teeth? Read on and discover a few tips to help ease the pain.
What is tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is a brief pain or discomfort caused by a stimulus when it comes into contact with exposed dentin. Dentin is the layer under the white enamel and the gum. When dentin loses its protective covering, it can become extremely sensitive to hot, cold or sweet food and drinks. Millions of microchannels are going through the dentin to get to the nerve of the tooth. Sensibility appears when the teeth are into contact with hot and cold, sweet or just when you touch it causing stimulation to the nerve via those microchannels now exposed.
What causes sensitive teeth?
Suffering from tooth sensitivity is fairly common and can happen for various reasons. Here are a few of the most common causes:
- Receding gums: harsh brushing, excessive flossing, lack of attached gum, grinding of teeth, gum disease and age can all cause gum recession.
- Diet: soft drinks, juices, citrus fruits, coffee, red wine and other acidic foods can attack the enamel of your teeth. This, in turn, can cause tooth sensitivity.
- Harsh brushing: aggressive brushing with a hard bristle toothbrush can damage gums and cause sensitive teeth.
- Teeth whitening: some whitening treatments can cause temporary tooth sensitivity. Furthermore, over-the-counter whitening products can be harmful and can increase teeth sensitivity.
- Cavities: cavities can provoke tooth decay, which can eat away at enamel and exposés dentin.
We recommend visiting a dentist to properly determine what is causing your tooth sensitivity.
Relief for sensitive teeth
Depending on what is causing your tooth sensitivity, the following tips may be useful to help relieve the pain.
- Brush with a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth: there are many toothpaste options on the market. For best results, use them for a prolonged period of time and avoid spitting when you are done brushing to increase the contact period with the sensitive teeth.
- Change the way you brush: use a soft bristle toothbrush and avoid brushing too harshly or aggressively. An electric toothbrush could also become a cherished allied.
- Avoid acidic foods: small changes to your diet might influence the level of sensitivity of your teeth. Limit your consumption of citrus fruits, juices, pop, red wine, and other acidic foods and drinks. Rinse your mouth afterward and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.
- Correct a receding gum line: a receding gum line can be treated with a gum graft. Ask your dentists for more information or a consultation.
- Protect your teeth from your grinding: grinding your teeth due to stress or while you are sleeping might wear away enamel, which can lead to tooth sensitivity. One way to prevent teeth grinding is to wear a mouth guard while sleeping.
For the most part, having sensitive teeth is fairly common. However, it is important to consult your dentist to uncover the root cause of your sensitive teeth. He will be the best-suited person to give you a professional opinion with the appropriate treatment. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, make an appointment at the Clinique dentaire Fortin Poirier today.