Tooth sensitivity is the pain, discomfort or other unpleasant sensations that occur when exposed to hot and cold temperatures, Robina Dental sweet or acidic foods or drinks. This may come and go or be a chronic problem that lasts for months or years.
Sensitive teeth are caused by weakened or damaged enamel, a hard protective coating that protects the inside of your teeth from damage. This can happen when tooth decay causes the enamel to break down or gum disease causes your gums to recede, exposing the teeth below the gum line.
Teeth sensitivity can occur in anyone, but is most common among adults. It is caused by a variety of issues, including injury or trauma, grinding or clenching your teeth, and dental treatment.
Medications like anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers can also cause sensitivity. It is important to avoid these medications if you have sensitive teeth. Using desensitizing toothpaste, chewing gum, or using mouthwash can help.
A hygienist can show you the best ways to brush your teeth and recommend a toothbrush that is gentle enough for your sensitive teeth. Toothbrushes that are too harsh can damage the protective enamel. The best way to keep your teeth healthy is to brush at least twice a day and floss daily, says Ferraz-Dougherty.
Reduce your intake of foods and beverages with high acid content, including soda, vinegar and sticky candy. Swap these for foods that have less acid, such as fruits and vegetables with high fiber and low sugar content.
Use a soft-bristled brush when cleaning your teeth to prevent rubbing against the nerves inside your teeth. Toothbrushes with harder bristles can push the enamel away from your teeth and expose the sensitive nerves in the root.
Eliminate habits that lead to sensitivity, such as clenching or grinding your teeth. This can cause worn-down enamel or wear and tear on the nerves within your teeth. The dentist can fit you for a splint or mouthguard to help stop these habits.
Try to make changes in your lifestyle that can help reduce sensitivity, such as reducing your intake of acidic food and beverages and cutting down on stress. It is also important to seek treatment for underlying medical conditions, such as gastric reflux or bulimia, that can cause sensitivity in the first place.
If your teeth sensitivity is caused by a cavity, your dentist can treat the cavity with dental bonding or a filling. He or she can also remove the decay and restore the affected tooth.
Surgical gum grafting is another treatment that is effective in reducing sensitivity by protecting the roots of affected teeth. During this procedure, your dentist harvests small amounts of gum tissue from other parts of your mouth and attaches it to the area of your affected tooth.
Your dentist can also provide other treatments to help with sensitivity, such as fluoride varnish or root canal therapy. This is particularly useful if you have a severely infected or damaged tooth that is causing your teeth sensitivity.