Do you have to wait until your coffee is room temperature before you can drink it? Does the thought of ice cream give you goosebumps? Speaking from experience, I would be willing to bet that you are suffering from sensitive teeth. You may hear about sensitive teeth in commercials or see an advertisement in passing, but how much do you really know about the condition? Learn more so that you may talk to your dentist about the next steps.
Tooth enamel is a hard, protective layer that helps your teeth deal with everything you subject them to. When that enamel wears away, nerve endings are exposed. These nerve endings are what causes pain and sensitivity.
How Can I Prevent Tooth Enamel Damage?
Brushing too hard can reduce tooth enamel. This is an easy culprit to fall victim to, as we routinely try to eliminate plaque and bacteria via brushing. Brushing in a side-to-side manner at the gum line can increase the reduction of enamel.
You can also avoid acidic food and drinks. Soda and other high-sugar carbs rapidly attack your enamel. If you do eat something acidic, wait an hour or so before brushing your teeth.
Teeth grinding can also wear away at your enamel. This can happen both when awake and asleep.
Cutting out bleaching treatments can help with the state of your enamel. Sensitivity from bleaching is normally temporary.
Tooth Enamel May Not Always Be The Problem
As we age, our gums shrink naturally. If you’re over 40, tooth sensitivity can be a sign that your gums are pulling away from your teeth, uncovering your roots. Receding gums expose unprotected roots, causing sensitivity. Additionally, gum disease can increase tooth sensitivity. Plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth can pull your gums back. If disease sets in, it can destroy the bony support of your tooth. This could require medication or surgery to fix the problem, in addition to a deep clean by your dentist, where your dentist scrapes tartar or plaque below the gum line.
Treatments For Sensitive Teeth
Now that we’ve addressed some of the problems and causes of sensitivity, it is worth exploring some treatment options. Specific toothpastes, desensitizing pastes, and fluoride gels can be used to help ease the pain. Additionally, your dentist can install filings that cover exposed roots and sealants. If the situation is particularly bad, your dentist may recommend a root canal.
Your tooth pain may be causing a fear of having dental work done. Ignoring pain can increase your dental problems. Dental care should not be avoided.