7 Highly Effective Solutions For Painfully Sensitive Teeth
Tooth sensitivity is a painful issue that affects millions of people. There are many causes of sensitive teeth, and several things you can do to reduce the sensitivity or treat the underlying cause. The following solutions can work to help you once again enjoy your favorite foods and drinks.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Every tooth is made of dentin, the tissue at the core of the tooth that protects the nerve. Dentin is covered with a protective enamel coating. As this enamel wears or decays, it exposes the dentin. Dentin has many tubules or pores that run from the outside to the nerve inside. As dentin is exposed, these pores are stimulated by temperature changes or certain foods, which then painfully stimulates the nerve inside.
Solutions for Sensitive Teeth
These suggestions can help you overcome tooth sensitivity.
1. Apply fluoride gel
While you can’t restore lost enamel, your dentist can apply a special fluoride gel that strengthens the enamel while reducing sensitivity. This can help if at-home products like sensitivity toothpastes have not given you relief.
2. Try a night guard
Do you wake up with a sore jaw or a headache? You may be grinding your teeth in your sleep, which can be an underlying cause of worn tooth enamel and sensitivity. This can cause or worsen tooth sensitivity by wearing down your teeth. According to Dentistry Today, one of the most overlooked uses for night guards is treating excessive tooth sensitivity. A fitted mouth guard can protect your teeth while you sleep to prevent additional wear.
3. Reduce acidic foods and drinks in your diet
Acidic drinks and food contribute to tooth sensitivity and erosion. A list of foods and drinks you can reduce include citric fruits, wine, and soft drinks. Try using a straw with acidic drinks to keep the acid from touching your teeth. The University of Rochester Medical Center provides a list of the best and worst foods for dental health.
4. Use a special toothpaste
Some types of toothpaste are made to block the sensation of sensitivity from your tooth nerve. This type of toothpaste is not merely a marketing ploy; it contains desensitizing compounds that block sensation transmissions from the surface of the tooth to the nerve. You may need to try different brands to find one that works for you, but studies have shown that sensitivity toothpastes do provide relief.
5. Switch to a soft-bristle toothbrush
If you already have sensitivity, you want to preserve as much of your enamel as possible. Avoid brushing your teeth as hard as ou normally would, and use a brush with soft bristles that won’t damage your teeth or gums.
6. Brush your teeth at the right time
Colgate recommends waiting at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth after you eat or drink anything with a lot of sugar or acid. This is because acids soften the tooth enamel and dentin. If you brush right away, you will cause damage to the enamel and actually scrub it off.
7. Schedule a dental appointment
Sometimes sensitivity is caused by an underlying problem, such as a cavity, cracked tooth, or even an exposed root. These problems can be treated effectively with a crown, filling, or a root canal in more serious cases. If you have a serious dental problem that is causing the sensitivity, it’s important to have it treated as soon as possible to prevent further damage.