How to Handle Tooth Sensitivity
Your teeth may become sensitive for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the most common factor behind sensitive teeth is when the protective enamel becomes worn down, and there are also things like gum recession and tooth erosion that may play a role. All told, it's estimated that nearly 60 percent of all Americans develop sensitive teeth at some point in their lifetimes. Do you have sensitive teeth? Here's how to tell:
- Does breathing in cold air cause pain or discomfort inside your mouth?
- Is it difficult to eat or drink hot, cold or acidic products?
If you've answered "yes" to either of the above questions, chances are you're among the 57 percent of Americans who experience sensitive teeth. The good news is that there are measures you can take to curb such symptoms.
How to Handle Sensitive Teeth
- Use specialty toothpaste: If sensitive teeth are an issue and you haven't already done so, switch your toothpaste so that you're only using a kind that's meant for sensitive teeth. Don't switch back once your teeth feel better, stick with the special toothpaste.
- Watch what you eat/drink: There's a reason why your dentist says to consume sweets in moderation. That's because sugary foods and drinks can wage war on your tooth enamel. Additionally, so can acidic foods and drinks. We're not saying to eliminate the aforementioned types of foods and drinks from your diet, but take note of when you're consuming what - and then try to brush your teeth no more than 20 minutes after consumption to get rid of the residue in your mouth.
- Inquire about barriers: Talk to your dentist to see if you'd be a good fit to receive painted on barriers of fluoride or some other sort of resin. These are applied on the sensitive areas of your teeth, and while they wear off over time, they can provide relief.
- Stop grinding your teeth: Teeth grinding can wear down your tooth enamel - and your teeth themselves. If you're aware that you're doing this, make plans now to stop this bad habit. However, if you suspect you're doing it in your sleep, talk to your dentist about wearing a mouth guard at night or of other ways to curb this behavior.
- Practice good brushing/flossing: A good oral routine is key to staving off sensitive teeth. This consists of brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day.
Another good way to handle sensitive teeth is to ensure that you're seeing the dentist at least once every six months. During these appointments, your dentist will also inspect your mouth to see if there are any issues. By doing so, issues that are minor in nature can usually be corrected before they become major. For more information on how to prevent and handle sensitive teeth, contact Caven Dental today.
January 18, 2017 | by Richard Caven