On the sensitive side?

October 20, 2016

Many of us suffer from the discomfort of sensitive teeth. This can range from being quite mild and short-lived, to being much more severe and long-lasting. There are many factors which can increase the likelihood of experiencing symptoms. There are also lots of treatment options to consider.

Our teeth are protected by having a layer of enamel on their surface. Underneath this enamel is the softer part of our teeth, the dentine. If the enamel becomes worn down, this can lead to the dentine being exposed. This exposure can cause the sensitivity we sometimes experience.

There are many factors than can cause sensitivity:

  • If you brush your teeth too hard, this can wear the enamel away and expose the dentine
  • Eating or drinking food or drink with a high level of acidity can lead to the enamel being attacked and worn away
  • Receding of gums: this can lead to the roots of the teeth becoming exposed
  • If you have a build-up of plaque or tartar this can cause gum recession
  • Grinding teeth in your sleep can cause the enamel to be worn away
  • Cracked teeth or fillings lead to areas of the teeth not covered by enamel being exposed

There are steps you can take at home to manage your symptoms. In your local supermarket you should find a selection of brands of specialist toothpastes which can ease your discomfort. As well as brushing with these pastes, you can also rub the paste onto sensitive areas. You may need to give it a few days or weeks before you start to see the effects of these toothpastes, but you may find some real improvements from giving them a go.

Avoiding hot or cold drinks and foods, and items that are especially sweet or acidic can help: these food types often trigger symptoms. You may find that brushing your teeth with cold water causes discomfort. If this is the case it is important to keep brushing on a regular basis, but perhaps try using warm water instead.

If, after a few weeks of treating your teeth at home, you notice no improvements, then it is a good idea to visit your dentist. They will be able to have a chat to you about your symptoms and recommend a treatment. There are many products available that can help to desensitise your teeth.

There are lots of steps you can take to prevent the development of sensitive teeth. Sticking with a regular oral hygiene routine is crucial. Ensure you brush your teeth twice a day: once last thing at night before bed, and on one other occasion during the day. When brushing, use small circular movements. Make sure you change your toothbrush every two to three months. Keep an eye on your diet and avoid or reduce your consumption of sugary or acidic food and drinks. If you are aware that you grind your teeth in your sleep, then it’s worth having a conversation with your dentist to see if you might benefit from using a mouth guard. Lastly, make sure you visit your dentist regularly. They will be able to advise you in terms of how frequently you need to visit.

Sensitive teeth can cause much discomfort. However, it is possible to take steps to reduce the chance of suffering, and to treat the problem if it arises. If you experience pain and soreness from sensitive teeth, have a chat to us today about how you can improve your symptoms.

For more information: https://www.dentalhealth.org/tell-me-about/topic/caring-for-teeth/sensitive-teeth

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