Do you have sensitive teeth? If you feel extreme sensitivity to hot and cold foods, then yes, you probably have teeth sensitivity.
Tooth sensitivity is a common problem. A lot of people from various degrees of this issue, ranging from mild to severe. It may stop you from enjoying ice creams and smoothies to hot chocolate and hot teas.
Causes of tooth sensitivity
A small number of people are born with the genes that make their tooth structure be in close proximity to dental nerves. But usually, the major culprit for tooth sensitivity is tooth decay and gum diseases. Tooth decay occurs because of lack of proper dental hygiene, broken or injured teeth, trauma to the teeth or gums. Gum disease occurs because of lack of good dental hygiene routine. Gum disease leads to open roots, and exposed dentine and pulp with wearing out of the outer enamel.
The dental nerves are well protected by the enamel which is the strong hard outer coating on our teeth. The enamel blocks much of the heat and cold from reaching the nerves. When the enamel gets worn away for whatever reasons, the layer beneath it, called dentin is exposed. Dentin has very tine tubules, or canals where dental nerves lie. When hot or cold foods are ingested the pulp in the centre gets stimulated which causes pain.
Whatever may be the cause, there are a few tips to help you lessen the discomfort of teeth sensitivity.
Use a fluoride toothpaste
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs in the earth’s crust naturally. It is one of the minerals that makes teeth strong. It also creates resistance in the teeth to fight off bacteria and decay. Toothpastes that have fluoride added to it have a benefit over other toothpastes in that it not only makes the teeth last longer but also prevents bacterial growth in the mouth and gums.
Fluorinated toothpastes contain fluoride which acts in controlling pain because of exposed dental tissues. Many brands are available in the market which contains fluoride as an added ingredient. The oral hygiene industry offers a wide variety of toothpastes to choose from. You can choose according to your need. Many toothpastes have a component that fills miniscule holes in the enamel and dentin which prevents hot or cold substance to touch the nerves which make you feel the discomfort.
When you have sensitive teeth, you may find that your gums bleed when you brush. But do not stop brushing the teeth because it will add to the problems. Use soft tooth brushes with fluoride toothpastes, because hard bristles are hard on the enamel and may wear them down. Brush carefully with a 45 degrees angle to the gums, with gentle strokes. The place between the teeth meeting the gums is important to brush gently for many seconds. Do not brush with harsh strokes. When you use force even with soft brush you tend to pressurise teeth and nerves in close contact gets touched. Very tiny holes in the tooth enamel leading to exposed dentin and pulp.
Use mouth guard
Bruxism or teeth grinding in the sleep tend to injure teeth and lead to sensitivity in teeth. The mouth guard protects teeth and reduces the chances of getting teeth problems. Generally, mouth guards are used for upper teeth only but your doctor may decide to have you wear both upper and lower mouth guards.
You get readymade mouth guards but if you choose you can have them custom made for you. Get yourself a mouth guard made or choose what is available over the counter if you have bruxism.
Gum disease treatment
Periodontitis or Gum disease are diseases that begin in the mouth and gums. It spreads and if not treated in time may end up losing your teeth. These diseases ruin your dental tissues and can affect all teeth one by one. These are detrimental to having a good smile. It leads to lost enamel on the teeth exposing roots and nerves. When bacteria work on gums, it breaks down the dental tissues which weakens the teeth.
If you find that you have any symptoms of gum disease, periodontal disease, or gingivitis, get yourself checked by your dentist and get proper treatment. If you continue to have periodontal diseases, then no amount of other tips can work because bacteria will continue to multiply and increase your dental sensitivity despite using restrictive methods to curb sensitivity of the teeth.
Use mouth wash
There are miniscule tubules on the surface of the dentin layer of the tooth. These lead to dental nerves, which are connected with tooth pain. When these nerves get exposed, simple everyday foods like hot tea or cold ice may touch the nerve endings bring on sharp pain. Gargle with salt water. You can use a good mouthwash to soothe the exposed nerves. Salt water mouth wash can also be effective. Salt balances the pH level in the mouth which restricts bacterial growth in the mouth. Saltwater mouth washes a few times a day will reduce sensitivity.
All the tips are useful but can work only if you follow a very strict oral hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing is vital for normal healthy teeth, but is all the more important for people who have any kind of teeth problems including teeth sensitivity.