Many people suffer from sensitive teeth. About 40 million US adults experience this condition. Tooth sensitivity can manifest as a twinge you can easily ignore, nothing more than a minor annoyance. On the one hand, it can also be a debilitating pain whenever you bite.
If you actively avoid ice cream, cold drinks, or popsicles, you might need to have your sensitivity treated. People who suffer from tooth sensitivity might also experience pain from cold air, water, acidic or sweet food, or anything that can cause nerves to react intensely.
Why people suffer from sensitive teeth
Tooth sensitivity is mostly due to thin enamel. Since enamel protects teeth, a thin layer exposes your nerves to triggers like the heat and cold. Enamel can be genetically thin in some people. Sometimes, though, it is damaged or worn down for various reasons.
Enamel can grow thin from improper tooth care or from grinding the teeth. A preference for acidic food and beverages also wears enamel down. Gum recession, broken teeth, and gastroesophageal reflux are also reasons for having weak enamel.
Tips for reducing tooth sensitivity
Though sensitivity is not life-threatening, it can prevent you from performing daily tasks with ease. Worn down enamel may also lead to gum diseases in the future. If you want to reduce your teeth’s sensitivity, you can make a few adjustments to your daily routines. Here are some tips:
Change your toothpaste and mouthwash
For mild sensitivity, you can try a toothpaste brand that is made for sensitive teeth. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth contains desensitizing active ingredients. These will help prevent the discomfort you feel when you bite into a cold or hot food item. Switching to a less acidic mouthwash may also help, as this can minimize the wear on your enamel.
Replace your brushes with softer-bristled ones
You can use toothbrushes that are gentler on the teeth. These will help prevent the further thinning of your teeth’s protective layer. Though it does not feel like much, changing to softer bristles will greatly reduce the rate at which your teeth deteriorate. Softer bristles also protect you against damaging your gums.
Visit a dentist
For more advanced cases, you might need to see a dentist. They can put you on a high-fluoride treatment. It can come in toothpaste or mouthwash form. Occasionally, they can prescribe gel or varnish fluoride treatments that are directly applied to the tooth. You might also be asked to have yourself fitted for a mouth guard, which helps protect your teeth from grinding when you sleep. You can ask your dentist to check your teeth for any cavities or exposed areas that might be the source of your sensitivity. In this case, they might schedule you for a root canal, a filling, or whatever is applicable.
Avoid acidic food
Tomatoes, citrus fruits, coffee, and tea are all highly acidic, and consuming highly acidic food and drink leads to the erosion of enamel. You might need to cut back on consuming these items during your treatment, so you can help your teeth build the resilience for consuming these again.
If your daily tasks are impeded by sharp pains from sensitive teeth, you are not alone. Many Americans suffer from this condition. To help ease the pain, you can try simple home remedies, such as buying new, softer brushes and getting toothpaste and mouthwash fortified with desensitizers. Visit your dentist for more permanent treatment options.
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