If you experience pain in your teeth and mouth from things such as hot or cold food and drinks or certain toothpastes and mouthwashes, you may be dealing with tooth sensitivity. Having sensitive teeth stems from having thin enamel, as without enough enamel, your tooth isn’t as protected against whatever touches it. Fortunately, there are many ways to fight against tooth sensitivity.
Choosing the Right Toothpaste
It’s important to pick a toothpaste that specifically targets sensitive teeth. The ingredients in them can help stop sensitivity pain from traveling up the nerve into the tooth. If you use mouthwash, make sure to use an alcohol-free one, as the alcohol can further irritate your sensitive teeth.
Make sure to also use soft toothbrushes specifically meant for sensitive teeth. If you brush too hard or use a brush with hard bristles, you may be doing more harm than good by breaking down your enamel.
A special fluoride treatment applied at the dentist’s office can help strengthen your enamel, therefore decreasing your sensitivity. You may benefit from prescription fluoride in-office or even at home, depending on what your dentist recommends.
Take Care of Your Enamel
Since enamel breaking down is usually the root of tooth sensitivity, taking steps to keep your enamel strong will prevent your tooth sensitivity from getting worse, or from happening in the first place. Acidic food and drinks such as sodas and carbonated beverages, candies, alcohol, and dairy break down your tooth enamel. Instead, try eating a fiber-rich diet that isn’t full of unhealthy acids. If you do eat something extremely acidic, it’s best to brush your teeth right after.
Avoid Excessive Teeth Whitening
If you have sensitive teeth, whitening your teeth can cause even more pain in the nerves, causing more discomfort when you eat, drink, or even breathe in very cold air. If you know teeth whitening is a trigger for you, talk to your dentist about if you should continue, and if there are better teeth whitening alternatives that won’t worsen your symptoms.
Wear a Nightguard
It’s possible that your sensitive teeth are due to teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. If you grind your teeth at night, your enamel will wear down, therefore leading your teeth to be sensitive to hot and cold food and other triggers. If this is the cause, then getting fitted for the correct size and type of nightguard can keep you from grinding, therefore keeping your tooth enamel from breaking down.
Consult with Your Dentist
There are many different causes of tooth sensitivity, from loose fillings, a receding gum line, gum disease, a cracked tooth, jaw clenching, and more. Perhaps it’s your whole mouth, or one tooth is suddenly sensitive.
Your dentist at Stephens Dentistry will be able to assess your symptoms to figure out the best course of action for you. If the steps you’re taking at home aren’t effective, consulting with an expert can give you answers and help you find the root of the problem.
For a dentist near Evanston who will help treat your tooth pain and sensitivity concerns, we recommend scheduling an appointment with Stephens Dentistry today.