Tooth sensitivity can disrupt your day-to-day life in many ways. From minor sensitivity to sharp pains, when you have sensitive teeth, brushing, eating, and drinking can all be affected. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, roughly 40 million people in the United States experience some level of tooth sensitivity.
What Is Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity, also known as “dentin hypersensitivity,” is precisely what it sounds like: pain and discomfort in the teeth in response to certain stimuli such as extreme temperatures or highly acidic foods. When the root of a tooth – or multiple teeth – becomes exposed, it lacks a healthy enamel layer.
The pain caused by tooth sensitivity can be temporary or chronic, affect one tooth or multiple teeth, and have different causes.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
There are many different reasons why you may be experiencing tooth sensitivity. Some of the leading causes of tooth sensitivity are:
- Gum Disease
- Poor Oral Hygiene practices
- Fractured teeth
- Worn or cracked fillings
- Worn tooth enamel
- Exposed tooth root
Tips to Reduce Tooth Sensitivity
- Practice good oral hygiene. Following a proper brushing and flossing regime is the first and best way to combat tooth sensitivity.
- Use Fluoridated dental products. Fluoride helps create a protective layover over the teeth, strengthening the enamel and shielding teeth from harsh temperatures or acidic foods.
- Take it a step further and use a prescription tooth sensitivity toothpaste. We offer Prevident 5000 in our office, which provides a higher dosage of fluoride and prevents tooth sensitivity. It’s also a great tool to use if you are considering in-home or in-office bleaching to prevent increased sensitivity that can occur with bleaching.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hard bristles can wear away at your teeth’ natural defense line, enamel, and expose the nerves. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush will result in less abrasion along with the enamel and less irritation to your gums.
- Brush gently and slowly, in circles along your teeth and gum line. This will remove plaque and bacteria without damaging your teeth and gums.
- Avoid acidic and super sugary foods and drinks. Soda, sticky candy and high-carb diets all attack tooth enamel and can contribute to sensitive teeth.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Dentists are trained to spot the cause of tooth sensitivity. Regular dental cleanings also help keep teeth and gums clean and healthy, preventing enamel degeneration.
While minor sensitivity is relatively normal and is no cause for heightened concern, if you’re experiencing sharp, consistent pains, there may be a deeper cause. A simple visit to CNS Dental can do a world of good for your tooth sensitivity. Our team of experts will get to the “root” of the problem and create an individualized plan on decreasing your tooth sensitivity. Ask us at your next visit how we can help make your pain and discomfort a thing of the past!