Do you know that tingling sensation in your teeth when eating ice cream or drinking cold drinks?
Do you wince when you brush your teeth after a hefty meal?
These are the signs of tooth sensitivity and many often experience it.
In the medical field, it is known as dentin hypersensitivity or dentin sensitivity.
Around 40 million Americans experience this problem making it one of the most common complains when visiting the dentist.
What causes teeth sensitivity?
- Too much Acidic Food: If you like eating foods like kiwis, pickles, grapefruits, tomato sauce, lemon and others then you may experience tooth sensitivity.
- Gingivitis: It’s commonly referred to “as gum disease.” It happens when your gums become sore and inflamed. When this happens, the tissues under your gums become damaged and the dentin is exposed causing a tingling sensation when you eat or brush your teeth.
- Brushing too much: Yes, there is such a thing, and doing it too hard or too much can also contribute to sensitivity. If you are using a hard bristled toothbrush, the protective layers of your teeth becomes exposed. This causes the microscopic canals to the dental nerves to open where acidic foods, whether hot or cold, can enter and can lead to uncomfortable feelings.
- Excessive plaque: Plaque buildup can cause breakdown of the tooth enamel. Once the enamel breaks down, the teeth become susceptible to sensitivity. That’s why it is important to floss and brush your teeth regularly.
- Recent dental procedures: This can be a temporary feeling to sensitive teeth. After a tooth extraction, crown placement or a root canal, the dental nerves are exposed causing you to wince when eating or brushing your teeth. The discomforting feeling should wear off after a while, but prolonged tooth sensitivity after recent dental procedures may lead to infection.
Remedies for tooth sensitivity
If you have sensitive teeth, the good news is that it’s treatable. The best way to treat this problem is by visiting your dentist at their clinic.
They usually clean your teeth but if the teeth are sensitive, local anesthesia or a nitrous oxide may be used. After cleaning, flouride varnish is applied to coat the teeth making it stronger and reducing sensitivity. Other methods involve using dental lasers where the tubules are blocked.
After the cleaning process, your dentist might prescribe rinses or fluoride toothpaste . Prescribed toothpastes and mouthwashes are much better in comparison to some over the counter products because some don’t have neutral fluoride.
Home remedies for tooth sensitvity
Your dentist can only do so much by cleaning you teeth and applying fluoride varnish. You also have to do your part by eating and drinking healthy and using the right toothbrush for your teeth. Avoid eating too much citrus and drink less coffee, sodas, energy drinks and wine.
Using a soft bristled toothbrush avoids exposure of the dentin with receding gums. But it is not just enough to use a soft bristled brush.
The proper brushing technique should also be utilized. Angle the toothbrush to 45 degrees and brush your teeth on circular motion. Brushing back and forth contributes to receding gums. Also, brush without exerting too much effort to avoid teeth sensitivity.
The risk of a receding gum line, periodontitis, and even tooth sensitivity can be reduced with proper dental hygiene routines. Brush daily, floss often, eat well and see your dentist regularly. Then the next time you go to the dentist, it will just be an in and out cleaning, just like your flossing!