Tooth sensitivity is a painful issue that affects 40 million Americans, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. As a result, sharp pain can on suddenly and without warning, especially when ingesting hot or cold foods or drinks (fortunately, the ache is usually temporary). Lifetime Family Dental, with offices in Gilbert, Chandler, and Mesa, has advice on how to treat sensitive teeth at home with some easy remedies.
The triggers of tooth sensitivity are many and varied. As we just mentioned, they can be cold or hot foods or liquids, and/or sweet or acidic foods, or even air. What causes the pain, which can afflict anyone, is a compromised tooth structure. When enamel has worn down or cavities occur or gums have receded, the tissue under the enamel—called dentin—is exposed. Because it is connected to the nerves inside the tooth, exposed dentin is the culprit that signals pain.
Most often, people who experience increased sensitivity will notice it after having dental work done. Procedures such as professional cleaning, having a cavity filled, or a having whitening treatment done can all enhance tooth sensitivity. In these cases, the teeth have been exposed to an irritation that may cause temporary pain to come and go for several weeks. Other factors can include using a hard or worn out toothbrush; gingivitis; clenching and grinding of teeth; or even using an acidic mouthwash.
When you experience pain from tooth sensitivity, there are several things you can do at home to begin to remedy the condition. First, proper brushing is essential. Make sure you use a soft-bristled brush to preserve tooth enamel, and don’t use a lot of pressure when you brush. In addition, switch to a desensitizing toothpaste; there are many kinds available over the counter. And if you use a mouthwash, try using a neutral, non-acidic brand. Finally, if you grind your teeth, use a mouthguard. We can provide you with a custom-fit mouth guard that will help that grinding issue and save your teeth from wear-and-tear.
If you are still bothered by sporadic tooth sensitivity, schedule an appointment with us so we can give you a thorough examination and rule out other, more serious issues that shouldn’t be left untreated. At Lifetime Family Dental, we care about you even as we care for your teeth. If these tips on how to treat sensitive teeth at home don’t solve your problem, we’ll go the distance to find the underlying cause. As your lifetime family dentist, we will do what we can to alleviate your discomfort and restore your oral health.
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