Do your teeth hurt whenever they’re exposed to hot or cold temperatures? You’re not alone. In fact, tooth sensitivity affects up to 57% of the population. This is often because the dentin of your tooth—a layer beneath your dental enamel that contains tiny tubules that run from the surface of your tooth to the root—is exposed. This means the root of your tooth is unprotected from outside stimuli, causing it to be sensitive. So how can you help this painful problem? Just try taking the following seven steps!
1. Go lighter on the brushing.
Sometimes there is too much of a good thing. If you’re brushing too hard or too often, there is a chance this could be the root cause of your dental sensitivity. Brushing too vigorously can lead to worn down enamel and receding gums, which can ultimately cause pain. Remember, plaque is very soft, so you don’t need to brush too hard to remove it. Try brushing with a soft-bristled brush twice a day. This will help you to preserve your enamel and still keep a healthy mouth!
2. Use desensitizing toothpaste.
There are a number of desensitizing toothpastes on the market that your dentist can recommend to you. These toothpastes have a special compound that blocks sensation that travels from the outer surface of the tooth down to the nerve. Be certain to check for the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance when you buy—this will help you to ensure that the toothpaste you’ve chosen is safe and recommended.
3. Use fluoridated mouthwash.
You’ll want to work with your dentist to pick a mouthwash that is right for your particular situation. Some mouthwashes contain acids, and therefore can be damaging to the layer of dentin, causing sensitivity. Fluoride mouthwash can reinforce your enamel, fight cavities, and ultimately relieve your pain.
4. Try a low-acid diet.
Acidic foods can wear down on your enamel, which is why you’ll want to avoid them if you have sensitive teeth. Try cutting down on foods like citrus fruit, soy sauce, tomato sauce, etc. to help protect your dental enamel from their corrosive acids.
5. Cut down on whitening products.
According to the American Dental Association, at-home teeth whitening products that contain hydrogen peroxide will often lead to teeth sensitivity. This often occurs in the earliest stages of your bleaching treatment. If you have sensitive teeth and are a frequent user of teeth bleaching products, you might consider eliminating these products for a while. Speak with your dentist about whitening options that may be best for your dental sensitivity.
6. Review your dental hygiene routine.
One of the best ways to prevent dental sensitivity and gum recession is to maintain proper oral hygiene. Be sure to (lightly) brush twice a day for two minutes—this will help you to prevent tooth decay and other oral hygiene problems. Flossing every night is also critical to ridding plaque along your gum line and between the teeth, reducing your chances of dental decay and sensitivity.
7. Schedule a check-up with Caputo Dental.
There are certain instances in which your dental sensitivity may require treatment from a dentist. For example, if you have a cracked tooth, receding gum line as a result of periodontal disease, or a worn filling, your dentist will be the best person to identify the issue and treat it. To be safe, we would recommend scheduling a check-up with your dentist if your experiencing dental sensitivity.
Want to speak with your dentist at Caputo Dental about your dental sensitivity? Call our offices today to schedule an appointment!