Tips for Caring for Sensitive Teeth
Tooth sensitivity is a common issue, and although people of all ages can experience it, it is most often experienced by those ages 25 to 30. While sensitive teeth may occur for several reasons, the two most common are erosion of tooth enamel and gum line recession.
Specifically, the gum lines and enamel are somewhat of the protectors against dentin, or the layer beneath the tooth enamel. Dentin consists of tubules, which interact with root nerves. That said, when hot or cold foods or drinks encounter the dentin in the case of eroded tooth enamel or gum line recession, it's common for people to feel jolts of pain. Thankfully, with a little bit of attention and time, these tooth sensitivity issues can subside. Here's a look at the different ways to care for sensitive teeth:
Switch Your toothpaste
The first thing you should do if you experience tooth sensitivity is switch up your toothpaste. Several brands of toothpaste are designed for sensitive teeth and have specialized chemicals that actually fill the tubules in dentin, thereby blocking any connection to the root nerves. By brushing these toothpastes on with a soft-bristled toothbrush, sensitivity should dissipate within a couple of weeks.
Incorporate a fluoride rinse
Most toothpastes contain fluoride - an active ingredient that helps repair minor damage to teeth and helps repair enamel. To really give your teeth a good boost, however, you can take fluoride to the next level and incorporate a daily fluoride rinse into your routine. Doing so can have a big impact on minimizing tooth sensitivity so you can eat and drink more comfortably. It's also worth noting that if just a fluoride rinse mouthwash isn't doing the trick, your dentist can likely prescribe something stronger.
Watch what you eat
Foods that are high in acid, sugar and starch can do a number on your teeth - and cause havoc on teeth that are already sensitive. So if you're going to be eating such foods, be sure that you brush immediately following consumption. The less time these types of food spend in your mouth and on your teeth, the better. On the flip side of this, dentists recommend that you chew sugarless gum and drink plenty of tap water to help stave off sensitive teeth. For example, sugarless gum helps accelerate saliva production, which can actually replenish protective minerals. Tap water, on the other hand, actually contains fluoride - so it's better to consume than bottled water in many cases.
Above all, however, your best means of fending off sensitive teeth - and correcting such issues when they arise - is seeing your dentist regularly. Dentists can administer a root ointment that greatly reduces sensitivity. They can also administer cleanings and other forms of treatment that can help put sensitive teeth on the path to recovery. The bottom line is that the best way to fend off and treat sensitive teeth is to see your dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings. Not only can dentists work to relieve symptoms that are experienced by sensitive teeth, but they can also catch small problems before they begin, in many cases eliminating the problem in the first place. For more information about how to care for sensitive teeth, contact Caven Dental today.
March 04, 2015 | by Richard Caven