If you suffer from sensitive teeth, your dentist will most likely inform you that you’re not alone. In fact, it’s thought that around 45 percent of Australian households have at least one person with sensitive teeth. According to Dentist Joondalup, while there’s no defining reason why one person would have sensitive teeth and another wouldn’t, it’s a pain that occurs when you eat something cold, hot, or acidic, or even when you encounter cold temperatures outside as well.
The primary cause of sensitive teeth is exposed dentin – a part of your tooth connected to nerves that trigger pain and sensitivity. Dentin can become exposed if you brush your teeth too hard which wears down your enamel, from gum recession, if you clench or grind your teeth, have plaque build-up, use mouthwash, have cracked teeth, or if you have gingivitis. Acidic food has also been known to wear down enamel as well.
After you have seen your dentist for cleaning, crowns, tooth restoration or root planing, you may also find your teeth are more sensitive, but this often disappears after a few weeks.
How to Treat Sensitive Teeth
It’s important to understand that if you have sensitive teeth, you will always have some sensitivity to a degree. However, there are a few ways in which to alleviate the pain, reduce the sensitivity, and desensitise your teeth. You will first need to visit your dentist to help decide on the best course of action for your unique case.
The most common course of action for sensitive teeth is a desensitising toothpaste. Your dentist can recommend the best one for you, but there are several over-the-counter kinds of toothpaste as well. If you plan on buying toothpaste the next time you visit the supermarket, be sure to choose one that features fluoride for sensitive teeth, opposed to one designed for tartar control.
You can use this toothpaste for everyday brushing, but it will also help to spread a layer of it over any exposed tooth roots before you go to bed.
You also may find that avoiding acidic foods, using a toothbrush with soft bristles opposed to medium or hard, and using fluoridated mouthwash can all help to reduce sensitivity as well. If you find that none of these home remedies work, your dentist may recommend dental procedures as an alternative option.
If your gum tissue has receded from the root, a gum graft may help, as could inlays, crowns, or bonding for flaws in your teeth. Some dentists may also recommend a dental varnish or fluoride gel, and a root canal as a last resort.
Sensitive teeth can be an annoyance in everyday life, but it can also be a symptom of an underlying problem. If you’re concerned about how sensitive your teeth are and you want to take action, make an appointment with your dentist.