Every so often, you may experience a sharp, shooting pain when you eat or drink something extremely hot or cold. You may believe this is completely normal, especially if it happens a lot, but it isn’t. The pain you are experiencing is caused by tooth sensitivity and you may be able to prevent it from happening again!
Understanding what tooth sensitivity is and how it is caused can help you avoid those unexpected painful moments. The following is a closer look at what causes teeth sensitivity and things you can do to help relieve pain associated with it.
What is Tooth Sensitivity?
Teeth are made up of multiple layers. These layers are there to protect the most sensitive part of the teeth. Unfortunately, those layers are not permanent and can wear away over time. When the layers start to wear down, it exposes the roots of the teeth.
Teeth’s roots are extremely sensitive. When they are exposed to hot or cold, it can cause them to send a signal to the tooth’s nerve center. The signal stimulates the nerve center, which results in the pain you experience when eating or drinking something that is hot or cold.
There are a number of different reasons why the teeth’s roots get exposed. The following are some of the most common reasons teeth sensitivity develops:
- Regularly brushing your teeth too hard
- Grinding your teeth at night
- Tooth decay
- Damage to the enamel
- Overuse of abrasive teeth whitening toothpastes
- Consuming acidic food or drink
- Dental work – placement of a new crown, or professional teeth cleaning
- Extreme plaque buildup
Ways to Reduce Tooth Sensitivity and Help with the Pain
Tooth sensitivity is difficult to completely eliminate, but you can control it. Once you control it, you will experience a noticeable difference in the amount of pain you experience.
The following are some ways you can help work to reduce tooth sensitivity.
Regularly Brush and Floss Your Teeth
Regularly brushing and flossing will help you keep your mouth clean of bacteria that can eat away at the tooth’s enamel. It is recommended that you brush and floss at least twice a day.
When brushing, make sure to use a soft or extra-soft bristled toothbrush. This will help reduce any wear and tear your teeth may experience after brushing.
Make the Switch to a Toothpaste Designed for Sensitive Teeth
Using a specially designed toothpaste for sensitive teeth may help reduce the pain you experience. There are several different types of ADA approved toothpastes like this that can be purchased without a prescription. Prescription strength, low abrasive, high fluoride/calcium phosphate containing toothpastes are ideal. These can be obtained through your Prosthodontist.
Try and Avoid Certain Trigger Foods
Over time, you will start to notice that certain foods act as triggers for your sensitive teeth. The types of food that work as triggers will vary from person to person. Sometimes it might be cold ice cream or sweet cake, other times it might be chocolate or acidic foods. Try to find the foods that trigger the pain in your sensitive teeth and avoid them.
While these recommendations may help, it may be a good idea to create a personalized oral hygiene routine that addresses your unique needs when it comes to sensitive teeth. A periodontist can provide you with personal recommendations for how to reduce the pain you experience from sensitive teeth.
Schedule an appointment today with your local Prosthodontist to discuss how you can reduce teeth sensitivity.