Have you ever experienced discomfort or agony after eating hot soup or ice cream? If so, you are not alone. While discomfort from eating hot or cold meals may indicate the presence of a cavity, it is also frequent in persons with tooth sensitivity. Other items, such as sour and sugary meals, as well as chilly air, can occasionally worsen them.
Knowing what might be causing these tooth aches is helpful for treating them. Finding a solution is possible once the problem has been identified.
Why Are My Teeth So Sensitive?
Dentin hypersensitivity, also known as tooth sensitivity, is what it sounds like: teeth that become painful or uncomfortable in reaction to particular stimuli, such as hot or cold temperatures.
It can affect one tooth, many teeth, or all of the teeth in one person, and it can be a short-term or long-term issue. While sensitive teeth might have a variety of causes, the majority of them can be readily remedied by altering your oral hygiene routine.
What causes tooth sensitivity?
Certain actions, such as brushing, eating, and drinking, can give you sensitive teeth an acute, momentary pain. Usually, exposed tooth roots or damaged tooth enamel cause sensitive teeth. However, there are times when other problems, such as a cavity, a cracked or chipped tooth, a worn filling, or gum disease, are to blame for dental discomfort.
Many factors may lead to the development of tooth sensitivity, including:
• Brushing too hard: Over time, brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can wear down enamel and cause the dentin to be exposed. It can also cause recession of the gums (the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth).
• Gum recession: When gums recede from a tooth due to issues like periodontal disease, the root surface is left exposed.
• Gum disease: Inflamed and painful gum tissue may result in sensitivity due to the loss of ligaments that support the teeth, exposing the root surface that directly contacts the tooth’s nerve.
• Cracked teeth: Broken or chipped teeth may allow plaque bacteria to enter the pulp and cause inflammation.
• Grinding or clenching your teeth could cause the enamel to erode.
• Tooth whitening products and toothpaste that contains baking soda and peroxide are two common causes of tooth sensitivity.
• Age: Between the ages of 25 and 30, tooth sensitivity is at its peak.
• Plaque buildup: Root surface sensitivity may result from the presence of plaque.
• Using mouthwash for an extended period of time If you have exposed dentin, certain over-the-counter mouthwashes include acids that might exacerbate tooth sensitivity (the middle layer of the tooth). The dentin layer of the tooth is further harmed by the acids. Consult your dentist about using a neutral fluoride solution if you experience dentin sensitivity.
• Acidic foods: Consuming frequently acidic foods including citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickles, and tea can erode tooth enamel.
• Recent routine dental procedures: After teeth cleaning, root planing, crown implantation, and tooth restoration, sensitivity may develop. Dental procedure-related sensitivity is transient and often goes away in 4 to 6 weeks.
Tooth Sensitivity Treatment
Easing the discomfort – Does salt water help sensitive teeth?
A simple method to ease minor discomfort or pain brought on by tooth sensitivity is to rinse with salt water. Additionally, rinsing your mouth with warm salt water many times per day can assist to lessen any inflammation.
Once you’ve found the problem, there are things your dentist can use to help ease your pain, including:
Visit your dentist if you’re plagued by sensitive teeth. He or she can find any underlying causes of your dental pain or rule them out. Depending on the situation, your dentist may advise:
• Toothpaste with a desensitizer. Desensitizing toothpaste can occasionally assist in reducing dental pain after repeated applications. Numerous over-the-counter products are available. Which product might be the most effective for you? Ask your dentist.
• Fluoride. To bolster tooth enamel and lessen pain, your dentist may administer fluoride to the sensitive parts of your teeth. Additionally, he or she could advise applying prescription fluoride using a personalized tray at home.
• Bonding or desensitizing. On occasion, sensitive root surfaces that have been exposed might be addressed by coating them in bonding resin. Perhaps a local anesthetic is required.
• Gum graft surgery. A little piece of gum tissue from another part of your mouth can be retrieved and connected to the damaged area if your tooth root has lost gum tissue. This can lessen sensitivity and shield exposed roots.
• Fillings that cover exposed roots
• Desensitizing pastes (not used with a toothbrush) you can get from your dentist
• Mouthguard to protect teeth if you grind
If your case is serious, your dentist might suggest a root canal:
• Root canal. Your dentist may suggest a root canal to treat issues in the soft core of the tooth if your sensitive teeth are really painful and other treatments are ineffective (dental pulp). Despite the fact that this procedure may seem extensive, it is thought to be the most effective way to cure dental sensitivity.
How to to prevent tooth sensitivity from recurring?
Take Care of Your Tooth Enamel
Tooth enamel is a strong, protective covering layer that enables your teeth to withstand everything you subject them to. Tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in the body. Problem is, it’s not living tissue, so it can’t be naturally regenerated. Unfortunately, you can’t regrow it artificially, either — not even with those special toothpastes. Pain-producing nerve endings become visible when it is gone.
It’s conceivable that some of your enamel has worn away if you have sensitive teeth. In order to stop or slow that damage:
Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. Use gentle strokes, rather than vigorous or harsh scrubbing, and avoid using an abrasive toothpaste. If you grind your teeth, ask your dentist about a mouth guard. Tooth grinding can fracture teeth and cause sensitivity.
Don’t brush too hard. Do you clean your teeth with a heavy hand? You might be taking off more than just plaque. Side-to-side brushing right at the gum line can make your enamel go away faster. You should use a soft-bristled brush and work at a 45-degree angle to your gum to keep enamel clean and strong.
Avoid acidic foods and drinks. You might also consider taking care when eating or drinking acidic foods and drinks, such as carbonated drinks, citrus fruits and wine — all of which can remove small amounts of tooth enamel over time. When you drink acidic liquids, use a straw to limit contact with your teeth. After eating or drinking an acidic substance, drink water to balance the acid levels in your mouth.
Soda, sticky candy, high-sugar carbs – all of these treats attack enamel. Instead, snack on:
• Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables
• Plain yogurt
These will moisten your mouth and help fight acid and bacteria that can eat away at your teeth. Saliva is one way your mouth deals with them.
You can also drink green or black tea or chew sugarless gum. If you do eat something acidic, don’t rush to brush. Wait an hour or so to strengthen before you scrub.
Unclench your teeth. Over time, teeth grinding wears away your enamel. Sometimes, addressing your stress can stop the problem. If that doesn’t work, your dentist can fit you for a splint or a mouth guard.
If tooth sensitivity is severe, you may need dental work to change your teeth’s position, or a muscle relaxant.
Take a break from bleaching. The quest for pearly whites may cause your pain. Thankfully, sensitivity from bleaching is usually temporary. Talk to your dentist about how the treatment might be affecting you, and whether you should continue it.
Get to the Root of the Problem
Sometimes, tooth sensitivity can be a sign of other issues, like:
Naturally shrinking gums. If you’re over 40, it could be that your gums are showing signs of wear and tear by pulling away from your teeth and uncovering your tooth roots. Those roots don’t have enamel to protect them, so they’re much more sensitive than the rest of your tooth.
Tell your dentist if your gums look like they’re receding. It can be a sign of other problems, like gum disease. Serious cases may need a gum graft. That moves tissue from somewhere else to cover the bare area.
Gum disease. Plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth can make your gums pull back. Sometimes, disease can set in. It can destroy the bony support of your tooth. Don’t smoke. It can lead to gum disease. To treat it, your dentist may do a deep clean of your teeth, called planing or scaling, that scrapes tartar and plaque below the gum line. You could also need medication or surgery to fix the problem.
A cracked tooth or filling: When you break a tooth, the crack can go all the way down to your root. You’ll notice pain when your tooth is cold. How your dentist fixes the crack depends on how deep it goes. If it’s a small crack that ends before your gums start, your dentist can fill it. If it’s below your gum line, your tooth will have to be pulled.
It’s also important not to shy away from dental care because of tooth pain and/or tooth sensitivity. Ignoring your teeth can make things worse. Brush and floss twice a day to help keep your smile bright and pain-free. And see your dentist for a checkup twice a year.
Tooth sensitivity becames more severe if left unchecked, after sometime it can even cause to loose a teeth. That’s why you should contact with your dentist and ask questions about your situation, what benefits can you expect of dental treatment when you feel a sensitivity with your teeth.
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