Today I’d like to talk about one of the most common concerns of our patients… sensitive teeth! We all know sensitive teeth are no fun as they can prevent you from being able to enjoy some of your favorite foods and cause discomfort during activities as simple as breathing in a gush of cold air! The good news is there are ways we can help to relieve tooth sensitivity.
Start By Visiting Your Elma Dentist
If you are concerned about sensitive teeth, the best plan is always to speak with your dentist first. While tooth sensitivity is common, it may also be a sign of something more serious. Your dentist can help identify what the underlying cause of your sensitivity is and prescribe the best treatment option for you and your smile! Following evaluation, we may recommend one of the following:
- Desensitizing toothpaste: This type of toothpaste is specially formulated to calm the nerve endings in the tooth and reduce discomfort.
- Bonding agent: This is the material used to stick tooth-colored restorations to teeth. It can also be used to seal the dentin surface and protect sensitive areas from outside stimuli. This is typically placed on the teeth at the dental office.
- Fluoride: Your dentist may apply a fluoride varnish to the sensitive areas. This both strengthens tooth enamel and treats discomfort.
- Limiting acidic foods and drinks: Carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, wine, etc. are acidic and, when consumed frequently, may remove small amounts of tooth enamel (the hard protective layer of the tooth) over time. Drinking acidic liquids with straws will help avoid contact with teeth.
A Good Oral Hygiene Routine Can Help You Avoid Sensitivity
Proper brushing and flossing can prevent conditions such as gum disease which leads to gum recession. When gums recede, part of the tooth root is exposed, leading to sensitivity. Be careful you are not over-brushing or brushing too aggressively, which can also lead to receding gums and even enamel erosion—both of which cause sensitivity. Lastly, make sure you are using a soft bristle toothbrush as anything harder will damage your enamel.
When Whitening Your Teeth, Consult With Your Dentist
Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of teeth whitening. To avoid or diminish sensitivity after whitening, consider using a lower concentration of whitening product and reduce the amount of time the bleach is in contact with the teeth. You can also use the product less frequently such as every other day rather than every day to help minimize sensitivity.
Always consult with your dentist before whitening as he or she can help determine the best treatment options for you. If you or someone you know has particularly sensitive teeth, there are additional steps we can take to help prevent and relieve the sensitivity caused by whitening.
We Can Help With Tooth Sensitivity
Even though sensitivity is common, there are a number of things we can do to help relieve and reduce the discomfort that it causes. No one should have to live with tooth pain. Call us or come in today so we can help you achieve a pain-free smile!