If you’re suffering from tooth sensitivity, you aren’t alone. As much as 50% of the population today has to deal with it, in one form or the other. Sensitivity of the teeth or dentin hypersensitivity or root sensitivity as it is known among the dental community, is a common problem occurring in the demographic of 20-40. Women are more likely than men to experience sensitivity.
It is the twinging sensation in the teeth when you eat something hot or cold or something acidic. For some people it is so much that they experience twinging even at the mention of acidic foods.
What are the causes?
Your teeth become sensitive when their enamel layer gets corroded exposing the soft dentine layer underneath. In other words, the nerve endings are exposed and that causes pain. The corrosion of the enamel can happen because of:
- Brushing so hard that the enamel gets corroded
- The teeth being subject to too much of acidic food
- Gums receding naturally
- Build-up of tartar causing the gums to recede
- Tooth grinding
- Tooth bleaching
- A cracked tooth
What you should do when you have sensitive teeth?
If you have sensitive teeth, chances are that the enamel on your teeth has worn away. In order to prevent further damage:
- Don’t brush your teeth too hard. Use a soft bristled brush. Don’t brush side-to-side at your gum line; you should rather work a 45 degree angle.
- Reduce the amount of acidic and cool food intake. Avoid anything that triggers your sensitivity. Acidic food softens your enamel, so if you have had something acidic, don’t brush your teeth immediately. Quit smoking.
- If you have bruxism and clench your teeth, use a mouth guard
- Give bleaching a break. Talk to your dentist about how the bleaching might be affecting you and quit for a while.
- If your gums have begun receding naturally, check with your dentist as it could also indicate other problems. If it is something serious, your dentist may need to suggest a gum graft as well.
- If your gums are receding because of the accumulation of tartar, get in touch with your dentist and get your teeth cleaned to have the plaque and tartar removed.
- If you have a cracked tooth, you might need to get your teeth filled or in some serious cases, you may also need a root canal treatment to fill the exposed roots.
Try using toothpaste for sensitive teeth. The best one would be a fluoride toothpaste. Use fluoride toothpaste and brush twice a day, once before going to bed at night and once in the morning. Your dentist might also suggest that you use fluoride gels or varnishes.
Tooth sensitivity can be quite the pain in the mouth forcing you to quit on your favorite foods. Instead of ignoring the problem, check with your dentist to get to the root of the problem and take corrective action as the dentist suggests.