If you’ve ever taken a bite of an ice cream cone or a sip of a hot drink and felt pain, you may be suffering from sensitive teeth. If so, you aren’t alone because 40 million other American adults suffer from sensitive teeth, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. So what causes this common problem and what can you do about it? Read on to find out!
What is tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity or “dentin sensitivity” is classified by a sharp, sudden pain that occurs when eating certain foods or when teeth are exposed to heat, cold, acidic substances, or abrasive textures. Healthy teeth have enamel coating them, but the wearing away of enamel can lead to exposed dentin underneath. Dentin is comprised of tiny tubes that connect to nerve endings from your inner tooth so exposed dentin can lead to pain. If you’ve noticed pain during any of the following, you probably have sensitive teeth:
- Brushing or flossing, especially while using a water flosser with cool water
- Eating hot or cold foods
- Eating acidic foods and drinks
- Chewing on hard things, such as ice, candy, and chips
- Receiving a routine dental cleaning
- Being exposed to cold air
What Can I Do About My sensitive teeth?
Although sensitive teeth may become a chronic problem due to your receding gums or thinned enamel, there are certain behaviors that can help to prevent the pain from tooth sensitivity:
- Switch to a toothpaste specially-formulated to combat tooth sensitivity
- Gently brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day for two minutes each time
- Avoid using a vigorous sawing motion when brushing
- If you use a water flosser, only fill the reservoir with warm water
- If you grind your teeth at night, wear a custom-fitted mouth guard
- Avoid highly acidic foods
- Keep up with your biannual dental cleanings and checkups
We can help you find comfort!
Remember, we are here to assist you resolve all your dental-related discomfort. When you come in for your next cleaning, let us know if you’re bothered by pain or sensitivity. We can recommend treatment and solutions to ease your pain. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment at Laulani Dental Care.
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