Sensitive teeth are a common dental problem that affects many people. This condition can cause discomfort or pain in the teeth when eating or drinking hot, cold, sweet, or sour foods and beverages. The sensitivity may be temporary or chronic, depending on the underlying cause.
The most common cause of sensitive teeth is the exposure of the dentin, which is the softer layer beneath the tooth enamel. Dentin contains tiny tubules that lead to the nerves in the tooth. When the dentin is exposed, stimuli such as hot or cold food and drinks, air, or even brushing can cause a painful sensation.
Several factors can contribute to the erosion of tooth enamel, exposing the dentin. Some of these include brushing too hard or with a toothbrush that has hard bristles, tooth decay, gum disease, teeth grinding, and acidic foods or drinks.
Tooth sensitivity can be managed with proper dental care and lifestyle modifications. Brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoiding abrasive toothpaste can help prevent further damage to the enamel. Using a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash can also help strengthen the enamel and reduce sensitivity.
In some cases, a dentist may recommend a desensitizing toothpaste or a fluoride gel to reduce sensitivity. A dental filling or crown may be necessary to repair decayed or damaged teeth, and gum disease may require periodontal treatment. For those who grind their teeth, a custom-fitted mouthguard can be helpful in protecting the teeth.
In conclusion, tooth sensitivity can be a frustrating and uncomfortable dental condition, but it is often manageable with proper care and treatment. It is essential to seek dental advice if you experience prolonged or severe sensitivity to ensure that the underlying cause is addressed and to prevent further damage to your teeth.
How to take care of sensitive teeth?
If you have sensitive teeth, there are several steps you can take to take care of them and reduce the discomfort you experience. Here are some tips:
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush: Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, using gentle circular motions. Avoid using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing too vigorously, as this can further damage the enamel.
Use desensitizing toothpaste: Use a toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth, which can help reduce pain and discomfort. These toothpastes contain ingredients like fluoride and potassium nitrate, which help block the tiny tubules in the dentin that lead to the nerves.
Avoid acidic foods and drinks: Limit your intake of acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits, soda, and sports drinks, which can erode the enamel and worsen sensitivity.
Don't grind your teeth: If you grind your teeth, talk to your dentist about getting a mouthguard to wear while you sleep, which can protect your teeth from further damage.
Use fluoride mouthwash: Rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash after brushing, which can help strengthen the enamel and reduce sensitivity.
Visit your dentist regularly: Visit your dentist every six months for a check-up and cleaning, which can help identify and address any dental problems before they worsen.
By taking these steps, you can help reduce tooth sensitivity and protect your teeth from further damage. If your sensitivity persists or worsens, talk to your dentist, who can recommend additional treatments or procedures to help manage your condition.