Tooth Sensitivity & How to Prevent It

 In Patient Education

Tooth sensitivity is common, and many patients have discomfort that is associated with temperature. But your teeth can be sensitive to many other factors that your mouth may encounter on a daily basis. Sensitivity to sugar, acid, brushing and flossing are just a few. But you don’t have to suffer if you have sensitive teeth.  

Below is a compilation of things that cause sensitivity and ways you can prevent your teeth from aching. 

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

People with sensitive teeth report certain triggers that worsen their pain and discomfort. Pain can be a dull ache or a throbbing, sharp pain. You may feel the pain on a surface level of your teeth or at the root of your teeth. 

Common triggers include: 

  • Tooth decay/cavities
  • Worn enamel
  • Gum disease or infection
  • Exposed tooth root
  • Over-brushing
  • Acidic foods
  • Cracked or chipped teeth

How to Prevent & Treat Tooth Sensitivity

When you experience tooth pain, it is important to see a dentist right away. This will help determine the root cause of your pain and whether or not your pain is caused by something that is easily preventable, or if there is a larger problem. 

If sensitivity is caused by receding gums, brush gently and maintain good oral health to promote gum regrowth. If gum recession is severe, your dentist may recommend a gum graft. This involves taking tissue from your palate and placing it over the root to protect the tooth. 

Grinding your teeth can cause tooth sensitivity because it wears down enamel and chip teeth. Reducing stress and caffeine before bed may help prevent you grinding your teeth at night. If you are a habitual teeth grinder and reducing caffeine and stress does not help, a mouthguard will protect your teeth. 

Ways to Treat Tooth Sensitivity

  • Salt water rinses: to alleviate pain from tooth sensitivity, using a salt water rinse twice a day can help. 
  • Honey and warm water: Honey contains antibacterial properties and can be used to treat wounds, reduce pain, and inflammation. Rinsing with warm water and honey can relieve pain from sensitive teeth. 
  • Soft-Bristled Toothbrush: Hard-bristled toothbrushes are abrasive and and aggravate sensitive gums and teeth. Switch to a soft toothbrush and practice gentle brushing techniques. 
  • Natural Remedies: Natural herbs and plants like turmeric, vanilla, and green tea leaves can all be used to treat sensitive teeth. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea leaves can strengthen teeth and reduce swelling. Vanilla extract can be dabbed on the affected teeth to reduce pain. 

Tooth sensitivity does not have to take away your simple pleasures. Talk to your dentist today!

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