Ways To Help Treat Sensitive Teeth
If you have ever felt a sharp pain in your teeth when you drink something hot, cold, sweet, or sour, you may have sensitive teeth. Sensitive teeth are a common dental problem that affects many people.
Your teeth become more sensitive when the protective layer of enamel wears away, exposing the dentin underneath. Dentin is a softer layer of tissue that contains tiny nerve endings. When these nerve endings are exposed to external stimuli, such as temperature or pressure, they can send signals of pain to your brain.
There are many causes of sensitive teeth, such as brushing too hard, grinding your teeth, using acidic or whitening products, having gum disease, or having cavities or cracks in your teeth. Fortunately, there are also many ways to treat dental sensitivity and prevent further damage.
Here are some measures you can take to help treat sensitive teeth:
Use a Toothpaste Designed for Sensitive Teeth
These types of toothpaste contain ingredients that help block nerve endings from sending pain signals. You may need to use them for several weeks before you notice a difference. However, with regular use, the sensitivity should lessen over time.
Brush Gently With a Soft-bristled Toothbrush
Be sure to avoid applying too much pressure when brushing or brushing too frequently, as this can wear away your enamel and irritate your gums. Brush twice a day for two minutes each time, using gentle circular motions. The gentle brushing is still adequate to remove plaque and food particles that can cause decay and worsen sensitivity.
Avoid Acidic Foods and Drinks
Some foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, vinegar, wine, soda, and coffee, are naturally acidic. The acid content can erode your enamel and expose your dentin. If you do consume acidic items, rinse your mouth with water afterward and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.
Avoid Over-the-counter Whitening Products
Many whitening products, such as toothpaste, strips, gels, and trays, are available over the counter. These products can contain harsh chemicals that can damage your enamel and increase sensitivity. If you want to whiten your teeth, consult your dentist for professional options that are safe for your teeth.
Wear a Mouthguard at Night if You Grind Your Teeth
Grinding your teeth can cause cracks and fractures in your enamel and dentin, which can lead to sensitivity and other dental problems. A mouthguard can protect your teeth from the pressure and friction of grinding.
To learn more ways to help treat sensitive teeth, schedule a consultation with a general dentistry professional in your local area.