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Understanding Sensitive Teeth

Patients who have sensitive teeth and gums report feeling discomfort and stinging pain when tasting foods and beverages that are hot, cold, sour, or sweet, among other things. They also often report feeling pain when breathing in cold air. While sensitive teeth are a common problem, it’s also one that is generally easy to treat.

Sensitive teeth and gums can make simple tasks such as brushing and flossing uncomfortable. The best way to treat this issue is to know exactly what the underlying cause of it is. Once you know the reasons behind your sensitive teeth and gums, you will be able to find an effective treatment that will help you to manage and even reverse your symptoms. When your sensitive teeth have been treated, you’ll be able to return to consuming foods and beverages that you love without experiencing unpleasant sensations.

The main cause of tooth sensitivity is a weakening of the enamel that leads to the tooth’s root becoming exposed to a variety of sensations. Tooth decay, cracked teeth, gum disease, aggressive brushing and receded gums can also expose the roots of the tooth, leading to sensitive nerves causing pain when extreme sensations hit the nerve.

The treatment method that will best rid you of the pain you’ve been feeling will be determined based on the underlying cause of your sensitivity. If your issue is being caused by weakened enamel, your dentist may decide to have you use a desensitizing toothpaste. Fluoride supplements are also frequently utilized in treating sensitive teeth, as these supplements strengthen enamel. Gum treatments tend to be used in cases where the sensitivity is being caused by receding gums. This treatment methods blocks irritants from reaching the delicate nerves of your tooth. On some occasions, your dentist may need to perform a root canal to effectively address tooth sensitivity caused by issues within the tooth’s pulp.

Tooth Sensitivity Causes

  1. Did you know that brushing your teeth with aggressive motions or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can lead to tooth sensitivity? That’s because it can wear down the tooth’s enamel. To keep this from happening, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush with gentle motions.
  2. Yet another cause of sensitive teeth is consuming acidic foods and beverages. This includes tomatoes, citrus fruits, pickles and other items.
  3. If you grind your teeth at night, you’re at risk of developing tooth sensitivity. That’s because the action of grinding your teeth leads to dentin being exposed. Speak to your dentist to learn about how a custom-fitted night guard can help you avoid this problem.
  4. Tooth whitening toothpastes, mouthwashes and other types of products can contain ingredients that cause tooth sensitivity. If you believe that this is what is causing your sensitivity, change brands.
  5. Sometimes mouthwashes contain alcohol and other types of ingredients that lead to sensitive teeth. To address this issue, change over to a neutral mouthwash.
  6. Gum disease can cause the gums to recede, leading to sensitivity. Gum inflammation treatments can fix sensitivity caused by this issue.
  7. Another cause of sensitivity are recent dental procedures such as fillings, root canals and extractions. While this type of sensitivity is usually temporary, you speak with your dentist if it persists.
  8. Another common cause of tooth sensitivity is cracked or chipped teeth that are left unrepaired. If left untreated, this issue can lead to severe pain.
  9. Tooth fillings that fracture or leak can cause tooth decay to spread around the edges of the filling. This leads to the enamel breaking down even more. Having a new filling placed will address this problem.

Tooth sensitivity can be symptom of a serious underlying condition. It’s important that you see your dentist to rule out a serious issue. In most instances, tooth sensitivity is treated with specially formulated toothpastes and fluoride treatments. These help to reduce sensitivity and to strengthen the enamel.

Tooth and Gum Sensitivity Treatment

  • Visit your dentist in Philadelphia at least once every six months. This keeps your dental health in top-notch shape.
  • Establish a consistent dental health care routine at home.
  • Use soft-bristled toothbrushes and brush utilizing a gentle motion.
  • Try toothpastes that are formulated just for sensitive teeth.
  • Choose a mouthwash that contains fluoride.
  • Wear a night guard when you sleep to prevent grinding of the teeth.
  • Stay away from acidic foods and beverages.

Knowing the exact causes of your sensitive teeth is the best way to find an effective treatment. For example, if your tooth sensitivity is caused by exposed dentin due to excessive grinding of the teeth, your dentist may prescribe a custom-fitted mouth guard to wear when you sleep. This will keep you from fracturing your teeth, as well as prevent sensitivity.

Refraining from the consumption of acidic fruits, wine and carbonated beverages is another way that you can prevent sensitive teeth. Acidic foods and beverages break down enamel. If you do decide to consume these types of items, drink water or milk afterwards. In addition, you should avoid brushing your teeth immediately afterwards, as this can cause further erosion.

Tips for Tooth and Gum Sensitivity

Seeking out a professional diagnosis and opinion is always recommended. However, the following tips can assist you with your sensitive teeth:

  1. Discover Desensitizing Toothpaste – Toothpastes that have been specially formulated to address sensitivity can begin working after just a few applications.
  2. Ask About Fluoride – Your dentist can apply fluoride treatments to sensitive areas of your teeth. This will keep the enamel strong and prevent sensitivity from setting in.
  3. Find the Remedy at the Roots – Receding gums can also cause tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity caused by this issue can be treated via gum graft procedure. This will cover the roots of the tooth and eliminate your pain.

Preventing sensitive teeth is as simple as practicing excellent oral health care. To do this, you should brush twice daily, floss daily, use a toothbrush with soft bristles, brush with gentle motions and see your dentist on a regular basis for check-ups.

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